Someone once asked me where does character emanate from? From the parents or is it formed as a result of the experiences?
What did i say? I honestly do not remember but it was a long speech. However i think that how a person turns out is as a result of several factors but their interrelation and effect on the individual is purely a matter of choice.
0ne of the factors is inherited traits. Those ingrained in our genes. It is more of the default reaction to things. But sometimes i tend to think that there is no such thing as inherited traits. I say this because more often than not,a child’s’ primary influence in the first years of their lives is the parents and thus they learn to deal with issues the same way their parents would. That would explain why a child would have completely contrasting characteristics as their parents depending on who was the influential party in their early years. That is why in future, my house helps will undergo thorough military like screening. I don’t want my kids acquiring queer habits because children learn best through observation.
The other factor influencing character is the environment one is exposed to. That is my theory regarding the origin of stereotypes. People from the same region have similar behaviour because they subconsciously or otherwise adapt and conform to their societal norms. Take for example the hood. Growing up there will harden a person by default because of the need to survive. Or coming from a tropical island paradise. Most likely one would acquire a relaxed outlook on life. No hurry,no worries. Sun, sand and swimming.
Finally the most important factor is the belief system. The values one believes in. The convictions they feel. This is the factor that makes one stand out. The distinguishing factor. Be it religious convictions or personal determinations, the belief system is what defines a person. Experiences and upbringing may have taught in a particular way but just as habits are learnt, they can be unlearnt and replaced. But doing so requires will power which is frankly hard to muster if there is no motivator.
I endeavour to answer a long time pertinent question but i have only scratched the surface. Human beings are as complex as they are different.