The environment is the surroundings and conditions one is brought up in. Does
nurturing an individual in the "correct" surroundings produce a "superior" human
Let us examine the evidence. I am going to use myself as the "guinea
pig", the subject of the "test".
The first evidence to my advantage is my home environment. I was not born
into a rich family. You could say it is lower middle class but my parents manage
to put food on the table, send us to school, pay the fees and occasionally treat
us to "cheap" school outings [which actually are school sponsored] or an annual
fast-food treat (yummy KFC). We are happy, united and able to laugh at our lack
of nature comforts. Being able to accept our lot make us more determined to
create opportunities. The environment is our teacher.
However, when I look at some of my schoolmates who come from broken homes and
are traumatized by their conditions, I
realize the environment can have a negative effect on the child.
My first conclusion is that the environment is important to the extent that
the individual can cope with the lack or the excesses.
My second evidence stems from my entry into the residential school system. I
was plucked out from my 'stable' home environment and thrown into the
wilderness, a completely alien world to join 13-year old girls and boys in a
boarding school. Here, we have wardens to keep a vigilant eye on us and the
school has rules and regulations which cover the whole gamut of our life for the
days we are in school. Occasionally during weekends, term breaks and holidays,
we make the journey home but we come to regard the school as our first home. we
learn discipline and time management.
I find that many take to the system like a duck to water but there are some
who could not adapt to it. Some of them come from good homes, rich background
with some from marginally deprived situations. The figures show that from within
each group, there are a few dropouts or some who manage to swim and not drown.
some from poor homes made fantastic improvements, some ho were high achievers
did not succeed eventually. To some the environment spurs them to excel, to some
the environment is a hindrance.
The second conclusion is a mixture of the environment and heredity working in
tandem so it really boils down to the individual to utilise all that he
possesses to achieve his dreams.
My last evidence is when I compare my abilities with those of my siblings. I
am good at languages, science and mathematics but a fumbler when it comes to
nuts and bolts and art. My younger brother could dismantle a bicycle and put I
all together again in a jiffy. My demure quiet sister draws and colors "dreams".
My brother repairs my bicycle, my sister puts the finishing touches to my
artistic goofs while I coach all in
languages and Mathematics. I could not put our "achievements" to the environment
but to the genes inherited from both parents.
The third conclusion leans towards heredity as the "element" responsible for
the latent talent which only needs to be
nurtured by the environment to flower and bloom.
Looking back in retrospect, I believe that the environment fine tunes the
inherited characteristics and makes room for latent talents to emerge. Added to
these two elements is the inherent nature of the individual who nurtures his
dreams into reality and realization.
The evidences and the conclusions point towards the fusion of the two: in
some cases the environment determines the future and in other cases heredity
dominates. Which reigns falls solely on the individual; he charts his own course