I always ask myself “am I the way I am because I was born this way, or because of the way I was raised”? but this topic has really clarified my thoughts.
I love cooking too and I do that everyday. “cooking gene” that is a smart word to use because it fits perfectly from your description. My mum also have been a cook for over 20 years and she recently retired. I love going to the kitchen to make something delicious without waiting on anyone, that’s the happy part about knowing how to cook. Your trait is undoubtedly a genetic one. However the cooking class is where the nurture comes in, because it is influenced by the environment. Would you care to share a few Mexican recipes. My favorite food is ‘jollof’ rice (African delicacy).
Another characteristic that I have often thought was influenced by both nature and nurture in my life is my reading competence. From a young age, I was able to read and comprehend much above my grade level requirements. I believe a certain part of this ability is due to intelligence and dedication, which I can attribute to nature. My mom would always tell me that my dad was one the most intelligent men in our family- that despite mediocre study habits, he would often rank at the top of his classes, enabling him to go to the best of engineering schools in India. She would then tell me that although she was not as intelligent, she was hard-working, a trait that enabled her to go to college and successfully become a working professional in America.
My father’s intelligence and my mother’s capacity for hard work were two complementary aspects that I often thought myself as having inherited. And both contributed to my ability to read so well: the intelligence to understand and keep up with the words, and the diligence of hard workers to read hours without stopping.
However, my childhood was heavily geared towards cultivating my love and ability to read. As an only child, I was often left to entertain myself, and as my parents limited my screen time, I found myself using the stories and adventure of fictional characters as such entertainment. Whenever my parents went to the grocery store or to run errands, they would drop me off at the nearest Barnes & Noble or library where they knew I would be safe and not wander. I also grew up in a middle-class suburban neighborhood with plenty of access to reading materials. Moreover, books and fantasy were one of the ways in which I bonded with my dad and my cousins. We all woke up early for the releases of the Harry Potter books and could spend hours going down the rabbit holes of Greek mythology and fairy tales. In such a childhood environment, my reading competence was significantly enhanced and most importantly, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Therefore, although the nature of my reading skills may have had a significant impact on my initial ability to read, I believe nurture was what sustained the love for books and literary competence that I have today.
-Mr Neil (parent)