Friday, July 07, 2006

Nature, Nurture and Fate
One often ponders what exactly the secret in life is; what causes success, failure, happiness, suffering, social recognition or ignominy. Is it Nature, Nurture or Fate controlling life inexorably and invisibly?
The answer would depend upon who gives it. A newly-born enters the world with genes gifted by his parents. If, in later life, he is afflicted by any serious illnesses which are traced to his peculiar genes, a geneticist would simply look at the problem as arising out of his genetic architecture. He will grow up and learn that nothing much can be done anyway to alter the situation.
It has been observed that nurture, too, has a big role in shaping life. Behaviour, personality and attitudes get influenced by the social environment in which one grows up. Children from broken homes who witness or are subjected to aggressiveness and physical violence or those who are born to alcoholics or drug addicts sometimes adopt abnormal behaviour pattern and attitudes in later life. These, again, script one’s success or failure story.
Those who believe in astrology follow horoscopes which not only forecasts future but also suggest how the stars in unfavourable positions can be appeased so that harm does not come one’s way.
A fatalist, however, believes that whatever happens in life is inevitable and owes it to his fate. If everything is predetermined, then there is very little role to play for the individual.
The protagonists for each of the above beliefs are unlikely to surrender to any other belief until they listen to their inner voices and an awakening of consciousness takes place.
The famous saying of the great scientist – Albert Einstein sums it all:
“Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for the insect as well as for the star. Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper.”

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