Usually, when we’re arguing about two polarized things, something strange happens.
It’s nature or nurture.
It’s black or it’s white.
It’s free will or devine intention.
What happens EVERY time is that it’s not either or. It’s both.
It’s not 50/50, it’s 100/100. People who say it’s 50/50 don’t understand that there’s something else happening here.
It’s a convoluted, nuanced interaction between the two sides.
This strange cognitive phenomenon is responsible for the trouble we get in when we think about people, careers, socioeconomic status, politics, everything.
Take, for instance, genetic predisposition. You’re born with it, or you’re not.
This is not destiny. It’s a responsibility.
We’ve each been given unique tools to help build something bigger than ourselves. The genes and experiences we have are the gifts of the proper hardware, the things that we have to build with. The software is the act of building.
The tool belt we’ve acquired is not our destiny, since destiny implies that there’s nothing you can do to avoid it–which is a fallacy. In this case, what we’re talking about is responsibility.
We are each responsible for using the tools (our genetic dispositions, our personal narratives, and our social experiences) to help other people.
Technology doesn’t just advance. Policies don’t just change. People don’t just get healthier.
There are a lot of hard working people who have given blood, sweat, tears and many times, their lives, to help other people.
You’re moving forward or backward, there’s no standing still.
You’ve been given the weapons. You’ve been given a set of tools. You have everything you need.
To be responsible is to be destined.
You are responsible for doing something productive and useful and helpful and generous with the tools you’ve been given.
Now it’s time to get to work.