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How much of a role does our past play in the present?

  1. lifedeferred profile image60
    lifedeferredposted 8 years ago

    I was wondering how much of who we are is self-determined and how much is molded by our past or "up-bringing".  Not so much the nature/nurture argument but the freedom to make life choices without the bias of our past experience. For example, according to my father, everything he is, is due to some past connection. His drinking, his depression, his temper, the way we were raised...on and on. I know a bit about my gradparents, so this is a justifiable claim. However when I think about my past, I feel I use it as a way to avoid those behaviors. I saw people drinking so I didn't. I was spanked to excess, so I don't spank my son. I think we all have the power to use our past either as an excuse or as a tool for positive develpoment. Can a person not decide things for themselves? Or maybe I am just as effected as my father?

    1. Sally's Trove profile image81
      Sally's Troveposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      The beauty of the human mind is that it can ask the questions you asked and then go on to seek answers; if the answers can't be found, then an invention may take their place.

      I believe we are ruled to some degree by fate, yet at the same time, we are obligated to use our minds, our free will, to do whatever it is we have to do in this life.

      It's a balance. I react to my upbringing and can never be sure of how it rules the me today. But I can ponder these thoughts and make choices.

  2. SparklingJewel profile image77
    SparklingJewelposted 8 years ago

    who we are is is because of everything, to some degree...our family members, our genetics, our environment (nature and nurture and natural surroundings), our friends, our social circles,
    our church or lack thereof, our pets affect us too...our traumas and victories, our education, and on and on... there is so much in our sub and un conscious to get worked out...

  3. Rafini profile image89
    Rafiniposted 8 years ago

    How your life is affected by your past is determined by (omg, I don't know what to say here lol) many different factors. (?)

    Your personality, your perceptions, your experiences, your parents influence, your parents parenting style, teachers, friends, and on and on. 

    You do have a choice, but, there are times when it seems you are making the 'best' or 'right' choice when in actuality you aren't.

    Good question!!

  4. Obscure Divine profile image56
    Obscure Divineposted 8 years ago

    It depends on your current level of awareness...

    1. SparklingJewel profile image77
      SparklingJewelposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      yes, and some issues don't come up until later in life or until we go digging...all things affect us, but yes, we do have choice, once it becomes conscious to some degree how we let it affect us

      1. Obscure Divine profile image56
        Obscure Divineposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        Once you reach a certain level of awareness, the effect is no longer the same, but we seem to still have the ability to change & adapt - even if less influenced by what is behind us.

  5. Michael Willis profile image79
    Michael Willisposted 8 years ago

    Very interesting question!!!!!

    Hmmm, my extended family was very, very close growing up where I did. In turn, I am extremely connected to family and protective of my family members. (Even cousins, 2nd, and 3rd cousins)
    And growing up in such a small rural community where everyone knew each other well...I can say I feel connected to those people also. 
    Even with the "everybody knows your business" atmosphere, I still would not trade that upbringing. Somehow that has helped me to feel self-assured I can overcome anything that comes my way. Growing up this way I guess makes me know that I can always fall back if needed on someone from the past and I would do the same for them.
    It's kinda hard to explain I guess in words online.

  6. profile image0
    pinkyleeposted 8 years ago

    i know my past has a huge part to do with who i am why i am the way i am ... people say to let the past be the bast but i fully believe the past is what makes us who we are now and will be because without the past how can we have a future to correct things, do things, or just live? just my opinion

    1. Rafini profile image89
      Rafiniposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Exactly!  you can't have a future without a past, but your future is not determined by your past it's only influenced by it to a certain degree and can be altered if you choose.

  7. SparklingJewel profile image77
    SparklingJewelposted 8 years ago

    Yep, life does have a purpose...learn from your experiences :)even if its simply to not do that particular thing again smile

  8. Jerami profile image71
    Jeramiposted 8 years ago

    I think that the past has everything to do with who you are and your future decisions. It is only controlling to a degree.Not really controlling but limiting.Such as education, a cripling accident etc.
      You still have free will to decide to spank or not to spank your kids but whatever your decision, it is still affected by your past, conciously and unconciously.
       Everything is relative.