My dad and I are a lot alike. Recently he had his truck worked on, and I drove him to the shop to pick it back up. The auto shop was just a few miles from Lake Texoma, and after I dropped him off, I decided to turn left and do a little exploring before I went back home. After a couple of miles, the lake spread out before me and the road turned into a gravel pitted, two lane trail. I turned around to go back to the main road, and what did I see but a giant silver pickup coming along to meet me. It was my dad! I rolled down the window and asked him what he was doing. He said he'd never been down that road and just decided to explore it. And it hit me--I was just like him!
And that made me think--who had made the decision to turn down that road in the first place? Did I consciously make the decision, or did my genes make it for me?
There had been an incident similar to this several years ago when I went my family on a vacation to New Orleans. There is actually a lot of land south of New Orleans, and my dad and I came up with the bright idea to get on the road and go as far south as we could, just to see what was down there. My brother and mom thought we were crazy, but they humored us, and off we went.
While this vacation demonstrated to me that my dad and I share a sense of adventurousness, there had never been a time when given the same set of circumstances, we both made the same choice independently of one another.
Sure, both of us choosing to turn left instead of right just to satisfy our curiosity may not seem like a big deal, but it really hit home for me how much alike we are. And it really made me wonder how much choice I have when making a decision. Am I a unique individual who makes her own decisions based on her own knowledge and wishes, or am I just a collection of my ancestors' thoughts and desires manifesting themselves in a contemporary setting?
Okay, so I know that my own genetic makeup is unique to me--even though my brother and sister and I all inherited our genes from our parents, those genes are expressed differently in each of us, but isn't it our genes that cause our personality and in turn, tell us what to do?
This is a crazy idea that's making my head spin. How many of my great-greats had this exact idea before me, and--without a computer or blog to express--wrote it in a diary or journal instead? Or didn't write it down at all?
Word and Book Lover.