What makes someone the person they are?

I have often wondered what makes someone who they are. We are often told of nature and nurture. Nature being the genetics you were born with and nurture being the environment you grow up in. Lately I’ve thought perhaps there is a third aspect, that of mindfulness.

Mindfulness is choosing to do things, consciously. It overrides other things such as emotion, because it is logical. It’s objective you might say.

A possible example is I want to have a candy bar.

  • Nature– I shouldn’t because it will be bad for my health.
  • Nurture– I shouldn’t because I will feel guilty, regretful and get disapproval.
  • Mindfulness– I shouldn’t because the bad consequences outweigh the good for me.

It is a decision based on logic rather than emotion and impulsion. This may seem a slight change, but it can make a great deal of difference. Living with mindfulness can create more strength in your personal morality and increase the success of following it in your actions, leading to positivity in many ways.

This theory of mindfulness being a third vital part in an person’s development or personality or identity, however you’d like to describe it, also answers other questions. I’ve often heard of someone acting a certain way and their actions being attributed to their nature or nurture. Genes or environment. And sometimes people even say that justifies negative actions. But then almost immediately comes to my mind, that there are often instances of people raised in negative environments, with relatives who have negative traits, being wonderful people. “Overcoming” their misfortune, or simply being a wonderful radiant human being despite their negative surroundings and difficult life. These people don’t even have to be exceptionally positive. There are people raised in negative environments, with negative genealogy that are simply positive. They are different from their nature and nurture components. There is something else that is behind this occurrence. What could be the reason? Mindfulness. It transcends nature and nurture. Mindfulness is empowering. Mindfulness is the individual having a moral code and consciously striving for it.

The individual consciousness of each person is the difference. Some might call it “soul”. It is independent of and superior to nature and nurture. Therefore it is more than integral to every individual. I think this can help in understanding people. For instance, obviously people will disagree at times, we all seem to have a different morality, as we have different individual consciousnesses. Perhaps disagreements and the separation and isolation of people may be overcome with compromise, understanding and unity. In any case, to communicate and act effectively, it is important to remember anyone you interact with is different from you.

For these and other reasons, I often think people may have a reason for their actions, but not an excuse. As in a reason being a driving force, a cause, etc. And an excuse being something that makes the action excusable. Anyway, how could we have an excuse for anything? We will never know everything. We ourselves are in a constant state of flux-including our morality, it develops with every second and experience-and so is the rest of the universe. Hindsight constantly makes things clearer, but that only tells me how much more there is to learn and know, which is great and scary.

Well at least I seem to more clearly comprehend one of the infinite amount of riddles to contemplate. Hope this may be of service to anyone. Feel free to give feedback if you wish. Peace.


What do we really see when we look at someone?

This is my first real post on wordpress. It seems a bit long, but give it a read if you’d like. I hope you find it interesting, world.

Today I was walking in Manhattan; it was a wet, chilly day, garbage on the floor, advertisements at eye-level. Advertisements with models caught my eye, and I recalled an idea that I think about from time to time.

The idea that we often make opinions on people based on their physical appearance. We do it with strangers, with first impressions, even with people we know well. We analyze their body, their clothes, their hair, their makeup, their features, their skin, their footwear, their posture. Sometimes we do this consciously and sometimes the adaptive unconscious does it for us. We often subconsciously sum people up, based on a combination of a million different little things that we notice about them, that make us feel a certain way about them, all in the space of a few seconds.

And I wonder, is it inaccurate to judge people on appearance? Is it misleading to think a certain way about someone because of their physical attributes, because of their closeness to societys-or our individual-idea of being attractive? And I wonder, why do people approach strangers when they think they are attractive? What does their physical appearance have to do with whether or not you will have anything in common or be compatible in any way? It seems like total foolishness. You fit my description of attractiveness, and so I approach you. Is that not very shallow? Is that not random and unusual? I often have these thoughts, and today I had a new one, continuing on this idea.

I recently read a book called “The Mastery of Love” by Don Miguel Ruiz. In this book, there was a part that discussed everyones search for what makes up their identity. What am I? Am I my body? Am I my mind? Am I my heart or my soul? The book says that we are not any of those things. We are a force. We are a force passing through this body that we occupy. That is what all people and living things are. (Personally, I expand this to include inanimate things, because they are made of energy! Everything is made of energy. And what is now a rock or the table we rest our hand on, may become part of a person’s fingernail or the bark of a tree or the fluff of a plants seed in time. Our body is inanimate anyway, without our force occupying it, and it is still energy, particles, force). In any case, remembering the thought that what we ARE is a force, I thought perhaps we find people attractive, because of who they really are-a combination of the physical and the force.

Because if you think about it, the force in everyone shines through their body. It comes out in the glint or the dullness in their eyes. It’s expressed with all of their movements, gestures and expressions. So perhaps it’s not totally shallow, perhaps we do see more to a person, when we see their physical body. At least we can say that for when you see somebody in person, or perhaps in a movie or commercial. And one might go even futher to say that it is true of pictures, stills, as well. A picture of someone can almost catch the essence, the force, being expressed through their physical body.

And as I thought these things, I thought, this must most certainly be true. We are not attracted to solely the physical. If we were, we would find corpses, mannequins and masks attractive. But as it is, most people do not. Most people find that thought revolting.

Additionally, we find revolting the person whose force repels us. The person whose movements, words, expressions and morality disagree with us as individuals, no matter how “attractive” they may be considered by others. And the reverse is true as well, we often find people attractive that are not necessarily thought of as so by society. Because it’s not just about legs or eyes or height, it really isn’t the physical observation that we make the judgment on.

So while it comes into play, I think the truth is that physical attributes are not the sole thing your opinion of others is based on when you analyze their looks-whether you realize it or not. Thought for the day.