What came first, the chicken or the egg? (Personality…)

The age old question of whether personality is  predetermined in the womb, by genetics or can it be influenced by our environment? Well, one of my jobs is working with small children tutoring them, yesterday I accidentally made a 5 year old cry, not because I did any thing nasty, but simply because of an eraser. Yes an eraser, a rubber, something that eradicates lead pencils.

The child was working on his handwriting, writing the letter d, and he asked for an eraser. I couldn’t find one and told him so, a few minutes later a crying 5 year old approached me. I asked him what was wrong and he said he needed an eraser and insisted that I find him one, i asked him what he so desperately needed one for, (whilst consoling the poor child) and he said it was because he wrote one of the letters wrong, (the letter looked perfectly fine to me). I managed to locate an eraser and then he was happy. I then began thinking about his personality, extremely smart, strong willed and very conscientious, with a perfectionist streak. Whilst I tried to let him realise that was doing his best and not being so hung up on the negatives, this is indeed his personality, very formed at the age of 5, he will probably end up being an engineer or some high powered business man.

It really made me think though that people’s personalities can be changed but the essential essence of our personality is brought from or genetic make up and altered by our experiences.