Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Do genes play a part in the character makeup of the person? Or are genes simply the makeup of the essential human parts; for example, our eyes, hair colour, liver or something that is tangible.
Do you think that if I were to clone Michael Jordan’s genes, his exact clone will have the same traits in terms of determination, perseverance and the hardworking attitude for basketball? Or can those traits be transferred to other hobbies or trades in life? I believe this is still open up for debate even till this era, if Michael Jordan’s clone is to be what we would have expected in terms of the individual traits and character, then why aren’t Michael’s siblings in a way as successful as he was in their specific trade, and why not even the rest of his family member’s height as close to his?
Would the environment that we are brought up in make a difference? The following article tells a story about a pair of twins: http://io9.com/how-do-identical-twins-develop-different-personalities-497857032 The ensuing story is about George Ramirez underwent the ‘Knowledge is Power Program’ known as the KIPP in short that saved his life.
George Ramirez grew up in New York’s South Bronx, which is deemed a ghetto area. Born in 1993 in Ecuador, George’s dad worked in a bank and his mom was a librarian. In 1998, they migrated to New York and George was enrolled in a public school. His first public school experience went like:
“I spoke no English. They put me into a bilingual class. My teacher was really nice. It was just a mess. People running everywhere, screaming, adults screaming, total confusion, pushed around, terrified, no instruction... I got into a few fights and was constantly surrounded by adults who directly and indirectly told me and my classmates I was getting nowhere. Why do I even bother trying? I remember my second-grade teacher yelling over my rowdy class. ‘It’s not like you will actually make anything of yourselves.’” And it stayed that way for four years.
How had KIPP “saved” him?
“The first time I came to KIPP is the first time anyone believed in me. My parents encouraged me but as parents without knowledge, KIPP encouraged me with knowledge and gave me ‘we believe in you, so let’s do this! Here are the resources.’ The long hours, the orchestra, the focus on character and college preparation, the ‘tough love,’ and the positive expectations. ‘All of you will go to college!’ It’s showing that you care by being very, very honest. If you make a mistake and do something that doesn’t make you smart, they show you what you need to do, and you know they do it because they care.”
On my note on would the environment affect our upbringing? The following would be a good example to elaborate further.
As quoted from George, “I had never been at a place where people told me what they wanted out of me without screaming. And what they wanted was for my own good, and everyone else’s. Plus lots and lots of positive reinforcements for doing well, and for everything good I did. When you do the right thing, the right things happen. When you do the bad, wrong things, the bad things happen.”
George is now a senior at Yale University, majoring in physics and history. This is a link to his interview with regard to delay gratification: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/making-sense/south-bronx-kid-failed-marshmallow-test-get-yale/
From all the articles that I have summarised and the books that I have read so far, points towards the direction of the environment, effort and hard work and astounding information being presented to me, my take would be nuture surpassing nature.
American educator, Marva Collins, mentioned that children are naturally curious about their environment and parents are the first form of teachers. Thus, it will be wise to help satisfy their inquisitiveness of the whys and hows. Learning is a continuous journey for both parents and child; never stop for a moment to learn and expand your horizon as parents are key role models whom their children look up to.