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  • Writer's pictureG. Amigues

Nature vs. Nurture

Updated: Jan 9, 2023

Science is discovering that the usual "nature vs. nurture" opposition is in fact way more complex than we've believed until recently.

The most accessible piece of research I've read on the subject recently is a short yet powerful book called: "Seven and a half lessons about the brain" written in 2020 by renowned neuroscientist Lisa Feldman Barret.

Slim and easy to read, the book explains "where brains came from, how they're structures (and why it matters), and how yours work in tandem with other brains to create everything you experience. Along the way, you'll also learn to dismiss popular myths such as the idea of a 'lizard brain' and the alleged battle between thoughts and emotions, or even between nature and nurture, to determine your behavior."

As Dr. Gabor Maté puts it, "In the real world, there is no nature vs nurture argument, only an infinitely complex and moment-by-moment interaction between genetic and environmental effects."

Why does this matter?

It matters because it dismisses the argument that "we are what we are and there is nothing we can do about it".

Of course, we can always decide to NOT change. It's OK. But if we are considering transforming ourselves, the good news is: there is always a path. With the appropriate training we can modify our behaviors until our last breath.

At any time we can discover what we've learnt from our life experiences and recompose our game. We can experience anew, we can discover more and, above all, we can integrate the accumulated learnings into enhanced understanding of ourselves. And with that, which makes us unique, we can learn to shape the world around us in harmony with our deep self.

This vision is a cornerstone of my work at human inside.

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