What makes us turn out the way we are?
I'd like to thank Nspeel for asking this question which I was enthusiastic to contemplate and write an answer for in this hub. I have just begun writing again after a bit of a hiatus and I was wondering what my newest hub should be about. I received inspiration by looking at the questions posed by other hubbers and Nspeel's question, "What makes us turn out the way we are?" caught my attention.
In answering this question it is clear that the first thing to consider is personality irregardless of intelligence, intellect or physical attractriveness. A person's personality becomes the essence of who they really are.
Personality is shaped by many environmental and social factors including childhood experiences and upbringing. Childhood traumas as we know can cause emotional instability in adulthood and cause unpredictable changes in outward personality such as mood swings the extreme of which may be diagnosed in the category of mental illness.
An ideal personality may be viewed as one that is consistently kind, sweet, considerate, empathetic, funny/comedic, forgiving, lighthearted and generous. Can any of us be all those things all of the time. We can only hope to be.
Our ability to be forgiving, let go of grudges, practice good citizenship, be kind to others and give to charity, etc may be influenced by many factors including our faith or religion, the way our parents raised us, and the social structure of the society we live in.
Here, in the United States, people definitely look out for their neighbors and fellow human beings. Even in a capitalist society, there is a sense of social responsibility in the human struggle. If one community is affected by a natural disaster such as a tornado, hurricane or flood for example we all reach out to help and donate to charitable organizations such as the Red Cross.
Living through the trauma of ordeals such as losing one's home to a natural disaster might also help to shape a person's ideas. Some people become more God fearing individuals.
'Who we are' effects everything from the type of employment we are drawn to (do we want to be interior designers, teachers, doctors, or lawyers?) to our political leanings (Republican, Democrat, Independent Conservative...?) to our religious affiliation or lack of faith. The influence of all these things can also effect 'who we are'. Do we become jaded in our jobs and want to switch careers? Do we withdraw allegiance to our political party because we don't like what it going on? Do we convert our religion?
I think we are born, coming right out of the womb with a big part of our personality and mannerisms and our personality is further shaped by all our life experiences. In addition to what we experience in childhood, what we experience in adolescense and adulthood also shapes who were are.
We can run the gamut from wide eyed naivete to sarcasm and cynicism within our lifetimes.
Our first heartbreak/ love lost changes us.
Our first experience with death changes us.
If not death, watching a loved one fight through a severe illness can also change us.
Seeing bad things happen to good people changes us.
Nevertheless, we hope to maintain our positivity in life and keep the good in ourselves. A lot of aspects of the way we are can be learned. For example, our intelligence can be improved by exposing ourselves to knowledge and learning as much as we can. Attending elementary school, high school, college and/or graduate school has an effect on our becoming who we are. So does the company we keep. The friends we make can impact who we become also. You might find that if your friends are smart, driven and motivated, that they inspire you and that is a very positive influence for us becoming who we are.
We should stay close to light, positive people, atmosphere and experiences. Let the good things make us who we are and not the bad things.