Most people don’t know this but I received my degree in psychology. Back while I was getting my degree, one of the questions that would come up time to time was does our environment or how we are made up determine who we are? I have pondered that question from time to time because I am a twin. Many studies have been performed to answer this question with twins. Often they are performed on twins that were separated by birth. That is not the case with my sister and I, we lived in the same household and shared a room together until we were about seven. We were in the same classroom for kindergarten but had separate classrooms from first grade. In fact, in the fourth grade because of circumstances we were in different grades.
I have often looked at my sister and myself and asked the question, is it how we were treated and the environment we grew up in or was it the way God created us. I personally think that question can not be answered in a all or nothing answer. I think that both how we were raised or our environment and who are because of how we were created co-influence us.
Case in point, my sister and I were raised by the same parents and were under the same rules. My mom believed that part of our differences came from the fact that my sister was released from the hospital only after a few days, while I was in there for almost a week. Part of that time, I was the only baby in the nursery on Mother’s day weekend. My mom believed that during my first days here on earth, I was held and talked to by many hospital personnel as well as my parents. My sister on the other hand, went home to new parents who were a little afraid to touch her and didn’t quite know what to do. She believed that I was more connected and self assured because of the first few days of my life.
I, on the other hand, believe that it is partly how I was created along with my interaction with my environment has made me who I am. I remember distinctly a time when my sister and I were around seven years old and were at the doctor’s office for our annual check-up. When the doctor came in to give us our shots he asked, “who is first?”. My sister pushed me up to Dr. Burnett and said her. It was this incident plus many others that my sister made me the leader of us in many situations. I believe because of her pushing me, it is why I have become a leader today. It was not something that was naturally in me but over the years after leading her, I began to feel comfortable about leading others. I began taking on the role without it being pushed on me. I believed while even though the environment, in this case my sister, influenced my becoming a leader. I also think that I was created with the desire to help people which was God created. (For more information about this, please see my previous post on this.) What do you think, are we who we are because of our environment or is it because of the way God made us?