Thicker than Water

How much of our identity is actually related to our bloodline? For example, we always hear (or at least I do) “that part is just like your mother/father” from not only my family, but also relatives and acquaintances. Speaking from a biological standpoint, the answer can be varied; much of who we are is dependent on our genes, our so called “blood.” However, much of who we are is also dependent on the environment. Therefore, is it alright to identify someone by their family? And how much of what we decided is decided before we even recognize it?

For example, let’s consider this. There is the example of how in the stories, the main character is always an orphan of some sort, or lives in a single-parent home. They hear how great their parent/parents were, and much of what they don’t have in family, represents the characters’ values and motives. In fact, in “Star Wars,” when Luke hears about how his father became a Jedi and was betrayed by Darth Vader, he wants to become a Jedi like his father. In fact, according to his aunt and uncle, there is too much of his “father” in him to settle down. Then comes “Empire Strikes Back,” where the big reveal is that Darth Vader is in fact his father. You would think this doesn’t matter that much; you could say that, yes, your arch-nemesis is your father, but if you really strongly believe in what you’re doing and you fought your opponents all this time, your resolve would be strong enough to counter your feelings and keep going with your mission. But this isn’t so- in fact, when Luke hears this, he kind of loses it. And this makes such a huge impact, that later, although he realizes this father have done horrible things for the Empire, he thinks he could actually convince his father do come back to good.

I don’t know if this really applies to real life, but this scene clearly shows how strong blood can be. If your parents are on a different ideological side, how much do you resent the fact and how far will you be willing to go to change them? Or will you be changed first? How much is your identity decided by these clash of wills?

Some people might argue, your lineage has nothing to do with who you are. But what if Hitler’s child was born? How much would he be observed? Yes, he is a child and what he act upon is dependent on what he learns and experiences, but you can’t help but be wary. In my opinion, it depends largely on outside forces, but you can’t deny that who you are is so largely influenced by something you can’t control, even if you try to change that fact, how much of that is up to you?


Here is the Star Wars Clip





2 responses to “Thicker than Water

  1. I think you bring up a very interesting point. Just based off of my own personal experience, I’ve found a solid majority of people that I have interacted with on a personal level to be much like their parents. I attribute this not only to genetics but also the environment in which they lived. Not only are people affected by “blood,” shall we say, but their environment, which when they are children is initially mainly composed of their parents and close family members. Due to this close proximity to familial environment, I think it is natural that children would develop habits and mannerisms similar to their parents. I also believe that on a subconscious level the preferences and choices of parents affect children profoundly. I personally have been told that my brother and I have very similar facial expressions and mannerisms to my mother. Naturally, this would be do to observation of our mother as children, and then later imitating her because we learned how to react to certain situations and interpret information by watching her. Therefore, I believe that our “blood” has a very significant influence on our shaping as people.

  2. Jacob, I believe that people have, at the genetic level, a predisposed way to interact, although I haven’t seen any research to confirm this. With that in mind, environment, in my opinion, plays the biggest role in shaping a person’s life, as you can adopt a child, and he will be raised under whatever you foster him to be into. I do not however believe that ideologies are genetic, they are taught.
    Just as what we have been reading, environment and experience are seen as the best forms of education(Emile, Freire). Although they haven’t touched down on “blood” playing a role, I would like to read a text on a philiosopher who takes that aspect into account.

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