We Have No Choice in Who We Are


I recently had a very interesting conversation with my boyfriend regarding personalities… anyone’s personality, really. He correctly brought up that despite the fact certain people may get on your last nerve, you kind of have to overlook it because no one has a choice in who they are. In fact, chances are, the reason why you may not get along with someone is because you just aren’t like them at all, and really, that’s just how it is.

It was such a strong statement. No choice at all? But, in so many aspects, he is right. You don’t pick your name, or your birth date, or your parents, or your physical presence or anatomy, whether your family is wealthy or not, or even where you grew up – whether it was in some affluent area or a poor, third world country. We are all born with our own specific genetic code and that, influenced by our upbringing and the state of society we’re born into, is largely out of our control. You will also inherit a portion of your parents’ genetic makeup – looks, intellect, and health issues, like it or not, and that is the truth.

In fact, even our youthful, younger years were out of our control. Unless you ran away from home, you had to live with your parents, or maybe even just one parent, in a specific part of the country that influenced your behavior. It could have been a welcoming and encouraging environment or one that made you an outcast – who knows? But, it was what it was, and you were in it… lovingly accepted and supported, or not.

Additionally, there have been numerous studies that support the fact that the state your mother was in when you were in the womb, also highly contributes to your overall personality. So, if she was happy and full of promise when she was pregnant with you, chances are you will be that way, too. On the other hand, if she was depressed, anxious and fearful, you may also end up that way, too. But, again, you could not control this.

I guess this is why this Native American saying is so insightful: “Before you criticize a man, walk a mile in his moccasins.”

It’s because unless you literally live another person’s life, you cannot even begin to understand their problems, personality, or motivations. Knowing that, we really cannot or should not even judge others because, for the most part, they can’t help but be who they are… and neither can you.

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