I have experienced and learned from living that I have strong natural (biological inheritance), and strong environmental (cultural inheritance) forces that are at work within me. They have been at work in me from conception and will continue until the day I die. From an individual perspective I am a unique person as I go through the developmental stages of life. From a normative perspective I am embedded within my birth culture. From the combination of my/our natural and environmental roots I/we have developed our private world from these gene (DNA) and meme influences (ENV). We have built our personal history and we write our story from these two forces. They are forces that at times we can find in conflict. In some conflicts it takes a deep internal battle to resolve.
Burtt maintained that, “out of the accidents of birth, childhood experiences, and family situations – our conscious and unconscious responses to them – we arrive at adulthood with capabilities which differ widely from person to person. We survive as best we can and make the most of our limitations. One may feel free to be aggressive in social situations. Another helpless when dealing in social situation.” (1975) Our private world includes the very manner in which we perceive our world (worldview), and have a personal philosophy of interacting with the world. Our private world includes Nature’s biological motivational needs, and how we have distinguished these innate needs from our acquired and learned wants. Our journeys are one of building our private world and social world, and how these 2-worlds can best overlap and interact, and this process will continue for the remaining developmental stages of our life.
I intrinsically proclaim that each one of us has the free will to grow as a person should we make a decision to make the necessary changes to self-evolve. We must be cognizant of the fact that as we travel through the various stages of development there develops a personal normal of one’s behaviors according to our own personality, temperament, and personal history. We also develop a cultural normal of what our culture dictates are the norms for the society we are born into. This basically sets up a personal and cultural conflict. We all must decide how to best fulfill our inherited genetic needs and drives, especially when they clash with cultural standards and expectations. We must decide how we bring balance between the two. This decision (Self vs. Culture) will have a lot to do with determining the extent that each one of us is able to self-evolve and how our story unfolds. We might decide consciously or unconsciously that what my culture expects is all that I need. Or, we might decide that there is Nature and a human nature of driven natural needs that my culture is asking me to suppress and I refuse to suppress those needs. As my narrative continues I will point out that the vast majority of us will comply with the central tendency expectations of the culture we are born into, and this compliance can lead to a life-time of normality and mediocrity. Comments?