Have you ever wondered why we all so different, yet we also very similar in nature? Do you wonder why we react the way we do, why we look the way we do..? I for sure know that our genes play a role, our genes inherited from both biological parents and these genes, in turn, are expressed by specific traits. I started writing this blog a few days before my birthday and it made me ponder about who I am, why do I behave in certain ways and why do I have certain traits?
I also find myself more than often thinking of my childhood days. I grew up in a previously disadvantage community and in a home with an alcoholic father. Our home was often chaotic and our daily life with my father was highly unpredictable and unreliable. I for sure know that circumstances and the environment also shaped who I am today. I know that the circumstances had different effects on us as children growing up in the same household. I know our environment wasn’t always the same and this most probably also had an impact on who we became.
This made me think of my sister and I. The only similarity we have is our height, we are both small in stature. My sister is a year older than me, the eldest of four. I always laugh at her when people pose the question to both of us: “who is older?” She will blurt out “I am and I am a year and 8 months older than her.” I will then correct her and say “it’s actually a year and 6 months and nine days to be exact.” My sister has always taken the role upon herself to care for us, to answer for us. I suppose she took her role very seriously as the eldest. Perhaps because of circumstances she felt she had to just be there for all of us. Or maybe it was her position by birth, but this is who she is and it has become her nature that I just love. We also grew up fighting with one another, like only siblings do.
“You may be as different as the sun and the moon, but the same blood flows through both your hearts. You need her, as she needs you.”
—George R.R. Martin
Our children became one another’s best friends. We both have two girls and both our first born children were our only children for a very long time. Maybe this could be the reason why our girls grew up thinking they’re each other’s siblings, with the fighting and all. Our relationship probably played a role in our children growing up so closely connected to one another. Our first born girls were two years apart (no, we did not teach them to do the years, months and days apart age thing) and our younger ones are four years apart, also behaving and fighting each other like siblings do. My younger daughter and my sister’s older daughter bear a striking resemblance in mannerism. I’ve always wondered if its learned behaviour or genetics that plays a role here. My two daughters on the other hand are very different in mannerism and in looks. Yet, both of them have very strong personalities and this also differs from each other. They do share their love for K-pop and the K-drama world. I have written some of my blogs based on their love for the K-world. What is clear is that even though there are distinct differences there are also similarities. The diversity between the four girls is a blessing and enriches each individually as they learn from each other just as myself and my sister.
“Fighting” They’re not about to throw down. Koreans use this word to show encouragement and support. The English equivalent would be, “Good luck,” but where’s the fun in saying that?
I love observing people in general and I am often fascinated by our similarities and our differences. I see how we are attracted to others that’s similar to us and even more so when they are different to us. This is most probably where the saying comes from “opposites attract.” Social media platforms have also given me a glimpse into other people’s lives and I have seen differences and yet so many similarities too. However I have noticed how we can become angry and hostile towards one another because of our differences. Would it not be better rather to embrace our differences and learn from each other? Whether we are different through nature or nurture, by remaining open-minded, being respectful and accommodating you can enrich your life by accepting people for who they are. This can but only add to making our world a better place.
Between our differences and similarities lies an individual – HensBlooms