I know that I cannot control the world or other people’s mind, but I still feel like I am in complete control of my life. I sometimes believe that I have come to be the person I am today due to my own personal choices and that my way of thinking would not change that much if I were to have another life. But how can I be so sure about that? Well I am not. Every event encountered during the day influences my reasoning.
When I see, hear, or read something, I am always updating my mind, and my personality is affected by that idea whether I am aware or unaware of it. I can agree with an idea and shape myself according to it. Depending on the consequences and experiences I suffer, I can keep agreeing with that idea and turn it into a value, or I can disregard it. But even when disagreeing with a new idea, it still affects my personality. From that instant, I start to hate something that was previously unknown to me. That “bad idea” could prove an example of what not to do and a new value will be adopted or created out of what I considered to be a bad choice. Once exposed to that idea, I cannot keep going straight pretending nothing happened. My behavior will be affected by that idea.
But since my mind is exposed to any idea or event through my senses, I am also susceptible to other people’s minds. That is exactly what happens with the transmission of values from one mind to another. They differ greatly between cultures and ethnic groups, but not between members of a family. Family ideas are spread through generations and are very difficult to get rid of. They are repeated constantly during our childhood when our reasoning is not that developed to challenge our parent’s views. It is through repetition and not analysis of the idea that these values stick to our heads. That does not mean that they do not equally affect us as the ones we discover ourselves. In fact, these values are harder to question and eventually get rid of because we tend to take them for granted; therefore, they are the ones that influence our behavior the most. When I was a kid, I remember I used to think grownups could never be wrong. It took me some time to see that they could, and even more time to realize that many ideas I had were not mine, even though they seemed to be in my head my entire life. I started questioning many things, and after a series of choices between what I consider right and wrong, I turned into a different person. That process is still happening, and it will continue to happen for the rest of my life.
Even though at some point in my life I learned to sail against the wind and question many preconceived ideas, having an almost independent mind, I am not exempt of being influenced by somebody else’s way of thinking. This is because the events my subconscious is able to pick up in a single day are just overwhelmingly too many, and every single one of them affects me. That combination of well analyzed ideas and not so well analyzed that I just come to accept is what determines my personality. I do not have to derive every single scientific law or theory to believe in them, there are too many that trying to prove them all again would take more than a lifetime, but the fact that I choose to believe in them and take them for granted is a “personal choice” I take for practical reasons. Our personality can be related to an infinite binary system of right and wrong, impossible to duplicate due to the size of such system. There is so much material to choose from during a lifetime that two personalities cannot be the same.
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