Cradle to grave
how some things never change
In 2012 we wanted to get a dog. We had initially brought a dog home and it was extremely nippy and afraid and was barking all the time. We ended up returning the dog to its previous owner after a few days’ time.
We decided next (sort of impulsively) to get a puppy and based on previous experiences decided that we should find one that is passive in behavior - one way the various websites told us - is to get a puppy that allows touching the tummy and that means passive behavior.
So, when we went puppy hunting looked for puppies that ran away from us rather than came to us. We found Kobe lying down in the corner away from the other little nippy litter brothers and sisters and when we picked him up he dutifully flipped on his back exposing his belly so that he could get a tummy-rub. There was our pick.
Even though we found a quiet dog who was submissive, we found this comes with its own set of problems. The dog was a super wuss, afraid of everything, extremely fearful of thunderstorms and winds, and also would not stay on his own at all. And this was in spite of a lot of time and effort training him to be on his own. Net of these fears means he ended up in our bed (especially after a tumultuous year where he had back surgery and a couple of cancer scares) and ends up being around someone at home all the time.
The point I am trying to reinforce is that this trait is common in humans too. Some, of our behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs are cradle to grave. Clearly, there is a genetic component to our behavior (though there is a belief that everything is trainable) and some of this never changes as the underlying characteristics continue to remain the same, no matter what. On top of these, we are indeed engineered beings with a lot of our molding engineered by our early days (family, religion, local environment) and our growing up. We continue to be extremely influenced and biased by the things that we learn, the circles we are in and the environments we continue to be exposed to.
So, what do you think? How much of your attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs are cradle to grave? How much of these have you engineered by your choices that you have deliberately made? Questions to think about.