Writing the “You’re Not Alone” series brought a question back into my mind. If I’d lived a life without such hardships, would I still be the person I am now?
I know I probably wouldn’t have some of the issues that I’m now working to overcome, but would I still be the kind of person I’ve become? Would I still be compassionate, active in causes, determined, strong? Would I have developed the same traits had I not suffered? Would I have better ones?
I sometimes wonder because I see things that really get my mind going. For instance, I have three half-siblings. They were born into a two-parent home. Their parents have stayed together, and are active in the church. They have not been extremely poor. I don’t think they experienced abuse. However, they did not turn out to be happy, well-rounded people. My eldest sister has an attitude problem and superiority issues. My youngest sister is morbidly obese with massive self-esteem issues and an internet addiction problem. I’m not sure about my half-brother.
They didn’t have the horrid life I did, but they didn’t turn out as well as I did in the long run. I’ve seen other people who had two parents, love, money and all a kid could want but grew to be horrible people. It’s not always true, of course, but I’ve seen it go both ways. So how much did my upbringing and life experiences have to do with who I am now?
Would I have been the same or better with a less tragic life? Would I be less than I am now? Was my strength, determination and loving heart there from the day I was born, and bound to rise to the surface no matter what? Since there’s no way to view an alternate timeline of our lives, I guess we may never know. I suppose I lean toward the side of us being born to be a certain way, but life can throw us off track or put us on a better one. Either way, the root of who we are was there from the start.
What do you think?