This I Believe

samantha - WOODMERE, New York
Entered on September 5, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that our experiences mold us into the adults that we become. This includes risks that we’ve taken, mistakes we’ve learned from or things we’ve tried that we didn’t like. The debate of Nature vs. Nurture talks about whether your genes and DNA (Nature) or if the environment you live in and the people you interact with (nurture) make you who you become. The theory that refutes both of these theories is Steven Pinker’s Blank Slate Theory that says “the idea that the human mind has no inherent structure and can be inscribed at will by society or ourselves” This theory incorporates both nature and nurture together, making it our experiences that shape us. Our parents have a big impact on who we become because we learn from them. Many people say that as we grow up we become parts of our parents. This is the case because that’s true, you do what they do because that’s how you’re taught.

As children, I feel that we experience things but retain them subconsciously. We constantly take risks and experiment with new things because we are not sure if we like it or not. It is rare that we will try something more than once if we did not like it the first time. Usually we can’t pinpoint the specific event that impacted a specific thing we do or way that we do it. An example of this is our morning routine. It is in the order that it is in because that’s how we did it as children. However, sometimes we are able to change the things we believe based on knowledge we acquire. Sometimes we can grow out of things that we learn as children. You can all think back to the way that you learned to tie your shoes. Most of us, including myself learned to use the “bunny ears” method. Now I’m sure there are still a couple, nothing wrong with it, but most of you I’m sure switched to the “loop, swoop, and pull” method, made popular of course by the movie Big Daddy. You learned a better, more efficient way and you were able to change what you did.

As adults on the other hand, we are able to better record our experiences. We can link what we do now with the first time we experienced or learned it. If you have trust issues with your significant other, you can link it to the time that you got cheated on and you can understand that that experience is where your insecurities come from. Experiences you have as you mature stick with you and serve more as life lessons that you should live by. It’s normal to make mistakes, but as an adult you are better able to learn from them.

So sit here and try to think about why you do the things you do. Maybe you got the idea from a parent or someone you look up to, maybe it was from your friends or maybe you’ve been doing it for so long that you don’t even know why. The answer is because you do what you do because that’s what makes you who you are.