An online conversation with a younger friend yesterday prompted a few moments of introspection and meditation throughout the day. While the details of the conversation are extraneous to the story, the basics are this…my friend had a habit of posting politically or socially heated commentary for the public to read. When asked why he posted these, the answer was, paraphrased “I usually get them off my Mom’s wall and I really do not look where they come from.”
Now, whether or not he had meant to, this got me thinking on the cultural link between parents and children. Most people are a conglomeration of parental influence, education, environment, and self-awareness. Going back to previous conversations, people (like animals) adapt to their environment. This includes beliefs, thoughts, and opinions both negative and positive.
It has long been understood that even with rebellion, the influence of a parent or authority figure on a child during his/her formative years is very strong. It may take a lifetime to shrug off the influences of our childhood. Often, this is never fully completed in this life and we will continue to be shadowed by both the negative and positive.
This does not mean that we as unique entities should ignore everything that happened within our lives when we start down the path of self-awareness. It means that everything should be examined and understood. Knowing where the love, hate, fear, and every other emotion begins is an important part of the journey down your own personal path.