Friday, September 18, 2009

Nature vs. Nurture and Self-Actualization in Adulthood.... Yep, this is a deep one.... hold tight.... my humor will return shortly :)

***(If you need info on Maslow's Theory of Self-Actualization... read all about it here...

Here is my latest ponder... at the age of 35, how much of me is really "me"? The nature of the beast that is me has been influenced by other people, other things, opinions, places, events, struggles, pleasures, hurts, broken hearts, broken plans and life in general for almost 13,000 days. All of these things have inarguably turned me into the certifiably crazy person that I have become.

Without all of these pieces of input into my character, personality and self... who would I be? If we stripped the nurture, both good and bad, from my nature, what would be left? Does all the interference of other people and things eventually make it impossible to truly be one's true self? Is this why Maslow's theory of Self-Actualization is so difficult to achieve? With only an estimated 2% of the population actually achieving self-actualization... if it were possible to go through life not allowing the influences to really influence you, is that the fabulous and wonderful being who you would really be?

Of course, we could separate behaviors from personality traits and assume the behaviors are the nurture and the traits are the nature... but really, is that true? By nature, I am confident in all things about myself. I am smart, funny, charming, witty, beautiful and embody the perfect amount of sarcasm. However, by nurture (no doubt crapola left over from the bad men I have picked in my 20 years of dating and marriage), I can feel incredibly lame, inadequate, ugly, stupid, undeserving and your basic filth stuck to the grime under the toenails of an amoeba.

Now, I completely despise the moments I feel that way... and to the people that make me feel it, I loathe with the passion of a thousand disgruntled really disgruntled things.

My ponder has come down to this..... Without the constant influence of others, would we all be content, happy and actually self-actualized? Comments allowed, expected and appreciated!