Born Versus Made
An endless debate that takes place in popular conversation is the question of whether people are born with special capabilities or whether they craft and mold themselves to become that way.
There’s a comfort in both streams of thought. The latter suggests that we control our destiny, who we are and who we can become. It provides for the mental foundation that we aren’t restricted to what we are today nor to what we have. Dream your dreams, make your plans and get after it. It’s all there for the taking.
The former idea, though, suggests that none of this is controlled. We are wired to be a specific way, to act in certain patterns and to be who we’re destined to be. I am who I am. We’re not the kind of folks who can plan and move forward. The cards have already been dealt and we must accept that.Some folks refer to this as fate or karma and a lot of this type of conversation is couched in religious or cultural or societal terms. It’s meant to provide comfort, so that we are better able to accept our place and the “cards we’ve been dealt”.
The debate is endless and you’ll find folks fervently camped at either end of the debate, each with plenty of evidence to back up their point of view.
Personally, I think the debate it pointless.
I certainly don’t know for a fact if we’re “born or made” to be, think or act in a particular way.
But I believe it’s foolish to operate as if we have no control. It’s foolish to presuppose what our fate actually is.
I liken our journey to being the captain of a ship. We can guide ourselves towards a specific destination and set out in that direction. We need to equip ourselves with the skills needed to effectively make that journey. Some of these skills, we learn beforehand while others we learn along the way.
There’s certainly no guarantee of smooth sailing and we will face a host of circumstances and environmental issues along the way - some manageable and others outside of our control. We’ll be able to deal with some, less so with others and with some not at all. In some situations, we’ll make it to our destination, and in others, we’ll end up elsewhere, making the best of what we have and learning more about ourselves along the way.
But to not assert whatever control we could and allow ourselves to be buffeted by the winds and seas? Then we’re guaranteed not to get where we want to go. Some might say that’s our destiny, and in a way, they’re right. But it’s our destiny because we abdicated any responsibility for the journey. And what’s the point in that?
So, again, I don’t know any of this for a fact. But I’m pretty darn sure.
And that’s where I’m placing my chips, anyway.