What Was In That Blood, Anyway?
By Jeff Salter
This week, we’re blogging about the hereditary characteristics we recognize… and whether we like them (or not). Hmmm. I don’t think about hereditary traits all that much. These days there seems to be so much debate about DNA versus environmental influences… that I guess I’ve lost the ability to isolate which teeny-tiny threads of me – Jeff – come from blood, observed behavior, environment, or my own experiences.
And since I’m no scientist, I’m just guessing at which ingredients come from what source(s). In fact, there’s a lot of mystery in this entire business. For example: I was at a men’s event sponsored by our church in Louisiana years ago when the subject of parenting was being discussed. One guy stood up, announced (to those of us who did not know him) that he had two kids — one of whom has turned out just fine and the other who’s turned out rotten. Then he said (I’m paraphrasing): “we gave them the same love and attention, the same house and clothes and food, and the same opportunities. Parenting only goes so far… and then sometimes kids just make rotten decisions.”
I say that mainly to say this: how we turn out depends on a lot of factors, including the experiences we face and the decisions we make.
And, with that scholarly preface, let me see if I can collect my thoughts about the actual topic.
I think my hair came from Mom’s side, since Dad was already significantly balding during his college years. My blue eyes must have come from Mom, but in my later years they’ve turned more grey like Dad’s were. People have said I have good shoulders — and they were definitely from Mom’s side.
My crooked spine – scoliosis – (if it’s hereditary, as I believe) came from Dad. My general health likely comes from Mom, but my stomach issues mirror some of Dad’s.
My creativity – or at least my expressions of it – seems to be a trait from a writing Father… but my appreciation for music almost certainly comes from music-major Mother.
In school, I was a natural at arithmetic and math… and this certainly comes from Dad (who could “cipher” in his head).
Not sure who to blame for my impatience and stubbornness — those may well come from both lines. In those circumstances when I exhibit a big heart… I’m pretty sure it comes from Dad.
My politics are my own — since Dad was a liberal Democrat and Mom is a conservative Republican.
My desire and tendency to be a peacemaker and compromiser – and to avoid conflict – comes from neither Dad nor Mom — so it most likely results from being a middle child.
So are all these (above) the type characteristics one inherits? Or do some come from environment and experience?
Any particular trait that you inherited? Which side of the family did it come from?