Our choices do not define us, but they do shape us. Whether they were good or bad, they taught us something and that lesson is why we are who we are.
Speaking to a friend of mine, the conversation soon got deeper than we intended and he posed a question: would our morals still be the same if the environment we grew up in had been different?
I’d like to say yes. I like to think that I’d still believe the things I believe even if my life and experiences had been different. I like to imagine that I’d still make the same choices and have the same priorities.
Although the truth is that they might not be. If I’d grown up surrounded by murder and thievery, I might think that sort of behavior is okay. If I were raised to believe that racism and sexism and other forms of discrimination are normal, I might believe that it is.
There are stories of people who grew up in a bad environment and decided that they want to be different. It is possible to become someone other than the role models you had as a child, you just have to want it enough.
That prompts another question: is it possible for people to change? Some people believe that who we are is engrained in us so deeply that it can never be uprooted. Others believe that people really are capable of change, depending on the circumstance.
I’m actually not sure what I believe. Maybe what we believe can be changed, but the way we act on these beliefs cannot. Maybe it depends on the person: some people can change, but some are too stuck in their ways.
Sometimes we have thoughts like this. Usually late at night when we’re the only ones awake or in the shower early in the morning. But they leave a funny effect on you, since absolutely nobody can answer the but you.