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Electronic Elasticity

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Born and Bred

Perhaps it is an interesting comment on the nature (nurture! ha) of my youth, but there always comes a moment or two every once in a while where I realize how profoundly similar I am to my Dad, in all the ways that count. Now you, reader, may be thinking that this is another pitch for familial continuity, belatedly realizing the wisdom of your parents as evident in childhood and blah blah blah.

Not Quite.

The real commentary in today's update is on upbringing, youth, childhood. We form our core persona in early childhood, and do a ton of structural work on it through adolescence and young adulthood. No one (to my limited knowledge) capable of commenting knowledgably about the process of growing up has ever pegged a specific time in our lives where we finish doing it. I'd say that is a good thing. But what we do know, is that our parents (or whomever fills that role) are the single biggest influence on our growth and personality development. Duh.
So when push comes to shove, if you can look back on your childhood and say: "I think my parents did a great job, and I'm grateful for it," then in today's world you are probably a happy person.So I see nothing wrong with being happy that I am like my Dad; that through love, respect, curiosity, wonder, and a healthy urge to keep him and my Mum happy and proud of me, I have eventually come to understand him.

And therefore, possibly a lot about myself too.

Despite being a Police Officer, and really being involved with Humanity's 'darker side', my Dad is a genuinely positive person, and an inspiration in that way. He is a towering example (in my life) of someone who sought, found, and lived, exactly the life they wanted to. Most people who know him, like him. Those that don't like him probably still respect him in one way or another.

Is it wrong to be proud that your dad was a Cop? I don't really think so. I am happy to have had (and still have) a role-model like my dad in my life. I learned a lot of "life lessons" from my dad:

Self-confidence, Pride, but not Hubris.No one is perfect, and it probably isn't worth it to try to be.Count your blessings, everyday (And he isn't a religious man. Nor, really, am I, in a conventional sense).Listen ( I am still working hard on this one, above many others).Learn about what makes you interested and happy.Pursue what you love, not to own it, but to truly experience and appreciate it.Manners may not Maketh Man, but they sure help.Honesty and Openness; more than just the best policy.

I still have a long way to go, just like most people do, but the fact that I can actually write "Thank you Mom and Dad for bringing me up the way you have" and happily, truly mean it, feels like another blessing to me. FYI Mom, if you are reading this, your time will come soon!


PS: Originally this was not supposed to be an oblique note to my parents, Father especially, and really, they may never read it. But if I had not written it that way, I do not think anything that I was trying to write would have translated correctly, and besides, I was essentially writing to myself anyways. Perhaps this can best be viewed (from a debate perspective) as a defence by personal experience of the Nurture argument.


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