I’ve looked at, drooled over, inhaled, and yes, eaten enough cinnamon rolls and sticky buns to last about a week or so forever. My self-indulgence in the foodblog world this past weekend was well worth it. Food makes my world go ’round, which means I’m ready to go on this first Monday in October. No, I’m not going to talk about the US Supreme Court or what they have on their docket. At least, not today. But I have been waiting to talk about James Watson who just may be a new hero of mine. You don’t know who James Watson is? Or is it that perhaps you just aren’t interested in who my heroes are? No matter, because it’s inevitable that I’ll explain it all anyway.
DNA Fractal courtesy of Sven Geier
Dr. Watson (no relation to Sherlock) was interviewed by a staff member of our local paper recently, and as much as interviews are something I don’t relish reading unless I’m extremely interested in the person being interviewed, Dr. Watson caught my attention to the extent that I may need to consider purchasing his new book, Avoid Boring People: Lessons From a Life in Science. I do know that part of the credit for his responses, which have had me thinking about them days later, goes to the writer. If you don’t ask a good question, you won’t get a good answer, right?
The reason Dr. Watson’s responses appeal to me is because he just “lays it on the table:” it’s brevity at its best and something that I’m a complete stranger to. His obvious knowledge about DNA provides for interesting opinions about genome sequencing, such as, “if you know somebody’s behavior is linked to their genes, you’re less likely to get angry, and more likely to help.” I’ve had some time to think about that — especially when I consider all the children with whom I’ve worked — including my own.
But how much do I know about whether an adult who is less than tolerable in public is simply rude, enjoys drawing negative attention to him or herself, is under the influence of alcohol or narcotics, or has a personality disorder? I may have less than pleasant thoughts about the person, but unless I’m being confronted, or feel threatened, I’ll observe, not engage. Life is just too unpredictable now. And if confronted, my reaction would be one more of embarrassment over attention being drawn to myself. Or fear. Understanding wouldn’t come close to factoring into my reaction in that scenario. Fight or flight? Yes.
With respect to the question of nature or nurture, Dr. Watson believes that our “personality is [our] genes. And [our]personality is key.” But…(and you know what point I’m going to make, don’t you?) …in much the same way that a seed is nurtured by a series of factors that influence its growth and viability, humans and animals can also thrive, or suffer from factors in their environment.
Yes, the personality is the seed, but we are so heavily influenced by those around us. By their ideas, opinions, attitudes, mannerisms, passions…or the lack. It seems to me that influence can be like unwanted hurricane force winds, relentlessly pushing and at times, violent. At other times, like a day without even the hint of a breeze. The response to either of those situations will depend on the one who is affected.
That is what is key. We are often treated as being the same: women, men, children, students, workers — not individuals. We are too often packaged to make it easier for someone else to deal with us. That’s where all the problems begin, because people forget that it isn’t always about themselves: their anger, their frustration, their disappointment, their preference. What about the person on the other end of it all? If you’re a parent, it’s about your children. If you’re a teacher, it’s about your students. And if you’re a worker, it’s about your work, or your customers. It’s. Not. About. You.
Well, unless you have a personal blog. Then it’s always about you. It’s your information — often synthesized from myriad sources — about what you’re interested in, about what matters. To. You. Yours. Does that mean it is or isn’t a reflection of your personality?
I recently had an acquaintance tell me that she doesn’t read my blog because it isn’t “really me.” Perception is an odd thing, isn’t it?
Sorry. Odd flow of thoughts today. Welcome to my personality. The one I have to put up with.
So if you’re completely bored now, and want to understand more than you already may what a big nerd I am, then play the game at Nobel Prize. It says I “managed to get 281 points out of 1150.” Whatever. If you’re really bored, you can try out some of the other games they list. I think I fed Pavlov’s dog to death, unfortunately. Overfeeding is my solution to everything in life. Poor dog.
I guess there aren’t any scientists amongst my ancestors or more recent relatives.
Dreamers, yes. And swingers of birches.
Well, except short hair scientists.
That would be me.