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Forum LockedWhat Shaped You?

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Northman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: What Shaped You?
    Posted: 21-Feb-2008 at 15:33

Roughly, the stages from childhood into early puberty towards adulthood can be divided in three levels. (at least as seen in a western perspective).

  1. From 0-8, your parents (or other close relatives) are your role models. Social skills and human qualities are embedded/developed very early.
  2. From 8-13, your teachers or other not so close adults becomes role models. Also hero's like moviestars, singers and other performers might influence your personality.
  3. From 13 through puberty, nothing or noone can make any impact on you, unless you choose to let them. Your role model is most likely someone your own age you look up to. Everything can be questioned and it will be. Your parents are most likely dinosaurs and havent got a clue about life. To hell with authorities.
So my questions are:
Who or what shaped you into what you are today?
Who influenced you socially, religiously, politically and so on; does it differ from the 3 level model above?
Looking in the back mirror, would you have been a different person if you could have chosen yourself (knowing what you know today).
 
Feel free to expand your answers to other areas of human development.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Justinian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Feb-2008 at 22:44

An interesting question Northman, give me some time to structure my thoughts and I'll reply in detail later. 

UPDATED:
 
What shaped me into the person I am today is mostly decisions I have made, influenced by the people (i.e. family) I grew up around and interacted with, as well as outside influences like peers, the outside world:  films, pop culture etc. 
 
Socially was mainly my peers/friends, pop culture, family my age.
 
Religiously was definitely my mom almost solely.
 
Politically was my family (i.e. my mom) and then making my own decisions through reading books, watching movies, media etc.
 
It differs somewhat from the "model" you showed, I didn't really follow the pattern of rebelling against family or misbehaving as a kid:
 
0-8   Family mostly, friends to a very small extent, a lesser extent still is outside influences like athletes
 
8-13   Family, friends to a slightly larger extent, peers/other outside influences
 
13+   Outside influences, decisions made by others (i.e. family) affecting me and decisions I had previously made effecting me.
 
Basically, its all about family. 
 
Originally posted by Northman

Looking in the back mirror, would you have been a different person if you could have chosen yourself (knowing what you know today).
Not exactly sure what you mean here, perhaps you could clarify it.  Do you mean if I could have known how I would turn out now, as a kid, would I change the decisions I made based on that?  If so, then I'm not sure.  This is one of the harder topics I've come across, I'm still probably going to revise my answer after I give it some more thought.  Bravo to Northman for such a thought provoking thread.Clap


Edited by Justinian - 24-Feb-2008 at 21:36
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Feb-2008 at 14:58
TV and chips. And crisps.
"Neither apathy nor antipathy can ever bring out the truth of history" Eoin Mac Neill.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Feb-2008 at 18:47
0-8, books, I was a loner.
 
8-13, cricketers and books still a loner
 
13-puberty; discovered the internet, books and still a loner.
The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Athanasios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Feb-2008 at 18:48
Originally posted by Parnell



TV and chips. And crisps.





I'd say the struggle of every day's routine. I had faced more obstacles than joy in my life and i think  i'm getting stronger little by little,day by day.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Northman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Feb-2008 at 03:40
Originally posted by Northman

Looking in the back mirror, would you have been a different person if you could have chosen yourself (knowing what you know today).
 
Originally posted by Justinian

]
Not exactly sure what you mean here, perhaps you could clarify it.
 
We are all influenced by our early environment, and in your case as you say, mostly by your parents/mom. That influence makes us carry a huge environmental heritage, unconsciously making us behave and think somewhat similar to those who gave us that heritage. 
The result is, we didn't chose ourselves, simply because most kids does not relate to the bigger questions in life, such as ie. religion and politics.
Later in life we are capable to form opinions independently of others by using our intellect, what we have learned and observed.
This is where my question kicks in.... - considering what you know today, would you have been a different person (chosen differently than the environmental heritage) if you had been given the option of free will - not been influenced by your heritage.
 
I'll give you an example, - my own.
Neither of my parents were religious, but certain circumstances forced me partly to be raised by my moms sisters who all were Jehova Witneses. Over a period of 3-4 years I participated in their weekly biblestudies, and being the kid I was, I ate everything raw. It was amazing, they seemed to know all answers or could find them in a book.
My granddad saw what was happening (his wife, my grandmom, was also JW), and he sat me down one day to have a talk.
Without discarding JW in any way, he made me understand the importance of free will and I still remember his words when he said...
"Listen to all people, read about everything, learn and study all you can, but don't ever let anyone tell you what is right and what is wrong, true or false. When you have learned enough, you will find out for yourself".
 
He broke the influence I was under, and I have thanked him many times in my mind - not that I think there necessarily is anything wrong with JW - but it wasn't my choice.
He gave me my free will.
 
Sorry about the long explanation.
 
~ Northman
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Feb-2008 at 06:56
Great topic North!

0-8; As you say, parents were probably my biggest influence. It is quite hard to determine how they influenced me, and how much was generically built in. I suppose there are two things worth mentioning that I remember, the first, is upon starting school having to conciously alter my language to be understood.
Although I speak English at home, many of the words I use, especially for family relations, are from Urdu. Having to translate and dereference phrases so that others could understand gave me a sense of being different, and from keeping a strict separation between my private and public life.
The second would be when I got my first pack of plastic army men (tin solders for 80's babies ) when I was about 5. It was the same time as the Bosnian war, and although I never actually watched the news I still had an idea of what was going on; and had a clear opinion on whose side I was on. I broke the army men into 3 groups, Bosnians, Serbs, and Americans, and had my Bosnian troops defeat both the serbs and the Americans. (It was much later I discovered that the Americans were not on the same side as the Serbs)

8-13; By far the most important influence of time period, and indeed my life, was spending alot of time in Pakistan during this period. It brought the world into perspective and made pretty well everything my comrades of the same age worried about trivial. I fully believe that you don't know anything about the world until you have lived in a place where there is real poverty, and real wealth side by side.
I also built up quite a bit of electrical knowledge by juggling the phases in our house trying to minimise the impact of the KESC (Karachi Electricity Stuff-up Corporation)

Also, I decided that any decent team should be able to score 100 in the first 15 overs. The 95-96 tri series and following World Cup, where Kaluwitharana & Jaysuria would do it with ease.

13+: I hate to say it, but the fall out from September 11 was a huge influence. The separation between my public and private life (us & them) grew massively. While previously had always reconciled outside views, I was now prepared to openly declare that I disagreed with the 'norm'. I ceased to be a member of 'the people' and became someone who joined it and left it at will. It was a mask I wore rather than who I was - I can mix with you, but I am not you.
I have never considered this to be a rebellious attitude in myself, because there have been no other symptoms of that. More it is a equal & opposite reaction to sentiments expressed in the media.

Also I suppose before I was 15 I considered that everyone was equally intellegent and just decided to use it in different ways. It wasn't until year 11 I realised that some people actually are just stupid.

In this period I picked up the 'tough-it-out' mentality from the schoolyard. If you get teased take it, and tease them back later. Pull a muscle - walk it off. Always underexaggerate, never take a dive.
See a deadly snake, take its head off with a shovel. See a mongoose give it a good stare until it runs. In the way of a wombat? Move. (No man has any chance against a Wombat )
Looking in the back mirror, would you have been a different person if you could have chosen yourself (knowing what you know today).

Nope. I like me

Edited by Omar al Hashim - 25-Feb-2008 at 06:59
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Feb-2008 at 11:20

My parents are still a great influence. As the son of an army officer I saw a lot more people and places then what is the normal. It was my mother who when I was 4 taught me to read and since then I have always been a biblophile.

I learnt as a young lawyer over the past two years lessons that I wish never to repeat. It has left me a cynic, which I honestly wish I was not. North can easily relate since when we had that discussion (in the privacy of the mod room) on a certain few troublemakers (Wink) I was far more willing to beleive the worst. QUite a thing, the older man  not being the cynic.

Edited by Sparten - 25-Feb-2008 at 11:23
The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Seko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Feb-2008 at 14:41
I'll second everyone's earlier childhood as a significant factor that shapes you, even the potato chips. The journey isn't over though. We are still shaping and being shaped. We carry the torch and live on. As the wise man from the North once said, "Listen to all people, read about everything, learn and study all you can..."
Copyright © 2004 Seko
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Post Options Post Options   Quote xristar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Feb-2008 at 16:01
I don't know.
0-8: Am I supposed to know this? I guess i was watching a alot of Power Rangers, and in the school we used to actually pretend to be the Power Rangers and play.
8-13: Well, I guess here I was a HUGE soccer fan, watching a lot of football, and knew the names and the ages (and other useless information) of like half the players of the greek league. I certainly had some players as role models... (mmm, memories coming back)
13-?: I'm 20. I guess I'm past puberty by now. In this period of my life, untill today, I became a much more lonely person, and have a lot fewer friends.
My predominant influence during this period must have been my maternal grandfather, and his  bookshelfs. I first read a book about the 1940-41 war of Greece. Objectively, this book isn't much for history, but it is written in a heroic style, which inspired me greatly.  I started at this age to like the army, and had many discussions with my grandfather, who was an officer and veteran of two wars. I also started reading history. At first medieval, then napoleonic, then modern, and finally I started reading about modern warfare.

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Victory needs none.
It insults the dead when you treat life carelessly.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Ponce de Leon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Feb-2008 at 16:20
0-8: Is practically the same thing xristar posted up
8-13: The clearest memory I have about going to school was when I was in 1st grade. I think my teacher's name was Ms. Freys but I always remembered her as Ms. French-fries. My family had a huge influence on my life. Not just my immediate but also mine from Peru because this was the time I took many vacation trips down to south america.
13-today: After middle school and the beginning of high school I pretty much became a loner. It was a tough time for me I guess cause I had this fear of guessing what other people were thinking of me. I got outta that phase and started having friends again by the end of my senior year of high school. Now I am in college and my friends here have really influenced me. I have no problem who I am today, although I feel like sometimes i should be perfect like brad pitt but oh well

Edited by Ponce de Leon - 25-Feb-2008 at 16:21
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Feb-2008 at 17:28
Originally posted by Seko

I'll second everyone's earlier childhood as a significant factor that shapes you, even the potato chips. The journey isn't over though. We are still shaping and being shaped. We carry the torch and live on. As the wise man from the North once said, "Listen to all people, read about everything, learn and study all you can..."


I agree 100%
Until our dying day, we're learning things. Our character might be shaped a lot in our early years, but after puberty, it is ourselves that decide if we want to evolve or not. If you believe that you're shaped and that's it, then there's a problem.

As for me, my greater family shaped me for sure in the early years. However, in many things I tryed to find myself an explanation by observing. The teachers did not shape me in any way just because they were teachers. Those who did shape me did it because of their character that I admired, not because of their profession.

As for now...I'm in a struggle removing what I know to be a weakness or a bad side of me. The hardest thing in this task however is to be aware of your bad sides and weaknesses. Getting rid of them is the easy part.


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Post Options Post Options   Quote xristar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Feb-2008 at 17:35
The hardest thing in this task however is to be aware of your bad sides and weaknesses. Getting rid of them is the easy part.

I'm not sure. It's easy to understand bad things of your character, but it's impossible to correct them, just by wanting so.
I feel I know many bad sides of me. Unless of course I'm wrong...

Defeat allows no explanation
Victory needs none.
It insults the dead when you treat life carelessly.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Feb-2008 at 19:48
Xristar, a big ego will not allow you to see those things. That's what i mean. Many people do not want to believe they have some bad sides. Even those they are aware of might be just a tiny piece of what they should know about themselves.


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Post Options Post Options   Quote xristar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Feb-2008 at 20:41
Perhaps Flipper. I agree with you that being aware of your flaws is the first major step. Doing the second major step -correct these flaws- is equally, if not more, difficult.

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Victory needs none.
It insults the dead when you treat life carelessly.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Feb-2008 at 21:17
Well, i guess we both agree that both things are important :)

Which step is easy/difficult probably depends on the person as well. In the end of the day, the best thing is the success of both.


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Post Options Post Options   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Feb-2008 at 11:35
A neat idea for thread!
 
(0 - through current) Even after his death, my father still influences my life to significant degree, in almost all of it's aspects!. Much like your grandfather Northman. My father taught me too listen or atleast try and make the effort; And also too think for... and do things by myself.
 
(8-13) Movie stars, performers or singers never influenced me at all. Though, there was one history teacher i had, who made 7th grade history fun, by bringing the characters too life and acting the part's to the general amusemnt of the class. In a way, he did what no other teacher could do. He inspired me to go from a negative grade, to a plus grade in one semester. From that point on, even though my scholastic grades in other subjects were still weak, history as it turned out, was always my strongest subject until i graduated.
 
 
(13 through puberty) I had alot of friends, but only a few that i would trust with my life, to watch my back. Parents?  I know i have given my mother fits at that age, no doubt about it! But my father, geez... that man really knew how to put the fear of god into me! The real trick at that time, was not too let my mother find that fact out, or all my manipulations and bull-headed stubborness would go out the window, with a simple and brief phonecall by her, and to my father at his place of work! My father was the only authority figure i ever recognised and thoroughly respected as a teenager! Note: I'm wondering if i have made it obvious by this point? Embarrassed
 
(Religon) I did attend church when i was a kid, but wasn't really interested in it that much in most of my teen life. I guess you could say i was on the borderline of atheism and agnosticism. Never had much of a religous figure in my life. Of course, by the time i was nearly eighteen, i had came back to... and have been a christian ever since.
 
(Politics) My father - I know... what a surprise!
 
No, i wouldn't change a single thing!


Edited by Panther - 27-Feb-2008 at 11:36
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Richard XIII Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Feb-2008 at 12:52
"Looking in the back mirror, would you have been a different person if you could have chosen yourself (knowing what you know today)."

Yes, my regrets are for what I didn't not for what I did.
"I want to know God's thoughts...
...the rest are details."

Albert Einstein
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brian J Checco Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Feb-2008 at 23:13
What shaped me?

Bowflex.

http://www.bowflex.com

Cool
My Name is Eli Manning. Ponce owns my soul.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Menumorut Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2008 at 00:27
0-8, my parents and grand mother

8-13, movies with superheroes and comics magazines (actualy only Pif and Rahan), there were very few in Romania but the ones I got have shaped me.

13+, my colege fellows (it was the most emancipated college in Romania and still is) influenced me, despite I was very isolated since ~14 from others, not going to parties etc.

Also, movies like Rambo or Comando, I mean with was scenes in jungle.

Anyway, after that, I become religious and at one moment I rejected in my conscience all the models, then my till then principles, I mean the models of my parents and later I put away my religious convinctions and started from zero, searching for the truth beyond my perceptions.

In the first phase of my religious convinctions, it was a monk-priest which influenced me enormoulsy, it was a very interesting figure, a former university lecturer with a transfigurated look.

In the second phase, I have return to the same religious orientation because I have felt that anything else was a thought drawing me away from the permanent apophatic prayer.

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