Monday, 25 December 2017

Nature versus Nurture

“Genius is one percent inspiration and 99% perspiration.” The famous adage goes. Whereas in our day to day life, we observe that most of the qualities/talents/habits of our offspring are credited to the parents or paternal/maternal relatives. It means the success is related to the genes we get from our parents and ancestors. Some qualities are same in every kid like two eyes, two ears, one nose and one mouth etc. but their height, stature, colour of eyes, shape of nose and facial appearance varies due to genetic composition. And the greatest difference lies in their temperament as it has been observed that there is a stark contrast in the behavior of siblings. Even fraternal siblings may have dissimilarities in their behaviour and temperament. So how come one of the sibling becomes a successful individual, earns name, fame and money and other one remains an underprivileged unknown statistics in the history and economic books. Children with same environment and same genes may grow into different personalities.

What is the reality then? Recent research findings infer that good education and conducive environment results in good habits and thus successful individuals. Although students studying in the same classroom achieve different goals in their lives yet innate traits and social influences affect the outcome of education. So, there is a co-relation between nature and nurture. Nurture helps nature in grooming an ordinary individual to a powerful social reformer or inventor. On the other hand, a child reared in an abusive family may become criminal. It can be observed in the most brutal crime of NCR. The accused involved in Nirbhaya case had abusive backgrounds (both physical and mental) that led to a brutal crime which can’t be forgotten by the present generation.

Nurturing affects a child physically as well a mentally. Physical care like having nutritious and timely food leads to a healthy body and proper education with training develops a nascent brain into an intellectual which becomes a social asset. In fact, one of the reasons of social disparity is the nurturing. A society with the culture of nurturing may have more intellectuals and well learnt citizens rather than a place where children are not taken care of properly. If we go through the biographies of great men, it clearly indicates that good nurturing led to the useful inventions and impressive theories. This is one of the reasons that all countries or societies don’t have equitable representation in the scientific and engineering achievements of the world. Great personalities like Aristotle, Pluto or Chander Gupt Maurya had role models and mentors who opened the path of their success.

In present scenario, when a child is bombarded with the sought or unsought information, right kind of nurturing is lost in technical gadgets. Playful activities with neighborhood friends, relations with extended family and chats on dinner table used to play a crucial role in the overall development of the child. Being well informed citizens of the civil society this is our responsibility to make world a better, peaceful and prosperous place. To achieve this objective, we need to nurture our future generations with great love and care.

Dr. Kiran Khanna
Associate Professor
Dept of Communication Studies

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