Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Instinct and Individuality Maps

Some teachers say all children are a blank slate.
Some say they discover what they already know.

Ideas. I think about some ideas for over a decade. I wonder on them, adding new information as my life lets me gather it. One of those ideas is how we come to life with no information about who we are at the core of our being. We spend our lives figuring that out or having that fact get in the way. We have no clue about other people either. I’ve wondered what it might be like if we did.

I understand the complicated workings of nature and nurture. That as babies our brains are somewhat like virgin snow awaiting footprints, awaiting neural pathways of experience to be marked by what we do, what we learn, where our curiosity takes us. Yet some of my thinking came with me. It was on my personal SIM card. It’s programmed there on my DNA. It’s my part of my gene pool -- thought I’m not my genes, my genes are me.

Suppose that we could know what our talents are, what values comprise us on the genetic level. No potter would go to the wheel to make a vase from an unknown material. It seems almost wasteful to spend so our lives figuring out what substance we are. What if we cme with that information -- the color and kind of clay from which we are made? That would not stop us from adding new shades to the mixture or developing new compounds.

If only we had that bit of information to sculpt a life with, maybe then we could move our focus away from who we are -- from ourselves.

Imagine being able to really know we are. We come with instinct. Why not come with an individuality map? I bet such maps would be beautiful, like spiral stairways lighted with what we do best.

How the world would change! People wouldn’t nearly be so defensive. We could look at each other without fear that someone might have or be something that we think we might need to have to be.

We could spend our days finding others like us, tuning in on our frequency, and forging our path.

Right now it’s a big enough quest for me to understand others. Yet to do that, I have to spend so much time learning about myself.

I’d show you my individuality map, if you’d show me yours.
−me strauss Letting me be

4 comments:

Janus Torrell said...

My individuality map is frightening, so you would be better off not seeing it :) but I do think part of the fun in life is finding out what we can do later.

Its no fun playing cards when you stack the deck

ME Strauss said...

Hi Janus,
Firghtening huh? The way was looking at it was just knowing what the cards in the deck are, not necessarily stacking them or even knowing the rules of the game. Just knowing for sure that I'm not playing with complete deck would be relief. :)

dawn said...

Hey Liz,
I like pondering your idea of an individuality map. I also like the idea that I am part mystery, to myself and to others.

Perhaps someday humans will have a better idea of what cards we're born with. In the meantime, we are explorers in dimly charted territory.

ME Strauss said...

Hi Jean,
I like your metaphor of dimly lit territory. I only wish I had a larger torch whils I am the Indiana Jones of my movie.