The little things.
And the major life events.
Influences make you who you are. Where you were born, your family, school, work, pop culture - we are interpreters of our surroundings. And yet, all of us are born with the same genetic materials. So how come our 100 billion neurons interpret situations differently?
Fittingly, today is Thanksgiving Day back in the states - making this an appropriate time to appreciate the people and cultures that make us who we are. Your parents give you genetics (life). Your society gives you opportunity. The world gives you resource. From the moment you are born, your neurons are connecting and reconnecting to form a constantly progressing point of view. And thus emerges the individual. You are an expression of accumulated reaction.
The point that I’m trying to boil down to is this: we are who we are because of the people and circumstances around us. We might not be born with our mother’s patience or our father’s ambition, but our character traits come from those closest to us. Now would be a good time to thank those people who have inspired your good side.
Appreciating family, for me, has become much more important over the past couple of years, most likely because I’m traveling and spending the majority of my time away. Still, that sheltered “bubble” I grew up in is at the core of who I am. Religion. Education. Politics. These things and more create your rules for interacting with the world around you. But family is the strongest influence we have. The one life-long constant. It’s during childhood that your “world map” is created. That world map is adapted into adulthood where friends, acquaintances and strangers begin playing primary roles in influencing who you are.
We owe a lot to our family and culture. They’ve provided us with the building blocks we now get to play with to create our place in the world. On this Thanksgiving Day try to analyze what you’re most thankful for and how those things have influenced you.
Still, influences do not define us. That's done through the way we use those influences to react. Either consciously or not. At the end of the day, you have control over which character traits you choose to reflect and which ones you choose not to. Are the people around you thankful for the influence you are?
Happy Thanksgiving Day :)