CORE VALUES AND SKILLS

CORE VALUES AND SKILLS

CORE VALUES AND SKILLS

Building a new ENVIRONMENT takes time, takes practice, patience and requires Grit! But we will discuss Grit another time. This week let us focus on a few Core Values that you want to instill in your children and your family, which will in turn help you build the value-based environment you need. Here is a Value-based assessment that you can take along with your spouse / other care-givers to find a common ground.

There is a saying “A high IQ can get you a job, but a high EQ will keep you on the Job.” Coursera presented the Top 10 in-focus skills in the World Economic Forum in 2020, they also presented the Top 10 in-focus skills in the year 2019. Of the top 10, four of the 10 in-focus skills in 2020 are Kindness, Gratitude, Meditation, Mindfulness and this has changed in a span of year, which brings us to a very important question, “Do we need to re-look at the skills we are teaching our children?”

India has a very rich culture, but Indians adopt a ‘do-it-my-own-way’ approach to nurturing this culture and life in general, which is mis interpreted as “power” or “aggression” as a solution.

I know you need proof, please watch the news on the TV. The prime time hour on most Indian news channels these days always debate crimes, or hypocrisy, deceit, violence, and all the
gruesomeness that exists, as opposed to Compassion, Kindness, Ethics and Humility that teaches life and goodness. Let me ask, “Is there a movie that can be made without an act of  aggression or violence in it, including comedy movies, and if there is, would we enjoy it as much as a movie with a hint of violence and manipulation?”

This brings me back to Gabbar Singh, and why we as an audience chose him as the number ONE favorite Bollywood Character Let us Choose wisely, before it is too Late!

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BUILDING ENVIRONMENT

BUILDING ENVIRONMENT

BUILDING ENVIRONMENT

“Spend quality time with your children. Show affection and love, create a secure bond with them, that will help the children grow with secure attachment and confidence” This is where we left off last week, so I am going to pick it up from here, I had suggested that we need to build the base of our environment. So here are a few strategies to help you create an ENVIRONMENT

I remember saying that children PRACTICE what they have Observed and Learnt from their environment…. So, BUILD a new ENVIRONMENT – Engage-Nurture-Vitalize-Instil-Reform-OpportunityNavigate-Mentor-Encourage-Notice-Talk

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PROSPECTIVE PERSONALITY

PROSPECTIVE PERSONALITY

PROSPECTIVE PERSONALITY

Last week we read there is no gene for criminal behavior. Crime is learned, just like every other learned and observed behavior. And since baby Gabbar Singh learned from observation, what if he were put in an environment filled with love, compassion, trust, and kindness, what would have been the result of his upbringing?

Let us dwell deeper, by first understanding what are these Environmental factors impact the development of a child. It usually fits into many categories, but we will focus on 3 categories:

  • Physical environment, the child’s home, the family, the bonding, the affection, neighbourhood, the state.
  • Emotional environment, which is how well families meet the child’s relational needs at home, the conversations, the emotional moments they share with their family and/or friends.
  • Social environment, which is the child’s relationships, friendships with other children and people.

Let us go step by step

We will begin with the effect of the Physical environment on a child’s development, which includes the physical surroundings they are raised in. If the living environment is cramped, noisy and filled with aggression and hurtful comments, our child’s personality will adjust to this aggressive environment and be affected accordingly. If the attention towards the child is divided, (s)he may seek out alternative forms of attention which can lead to an emotional distance between the child and us. Similarly, unpleasant surroundings often cause children to block out or bury negativity, making them more introverted.

One of the most important influencing factors on a child’s development is Us, ‘the child’s Family’. Irrespective of who is a child’s primary caregiver, the bonding ‘We’ provide at home helps nurture and protect our children both physically and emotionally.

Spend quality time with your children. Show affection and love, create a secure bond with them, that will help the children grow with secure attachment and confidence. Remember, our children are watching, observing, learning, what we say, and what we do, they also understand when we lie and when we are fake and then the best thing happens… They PRACTICE what they have Observed and Learnt from their environment……

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A LEARNED BEHAVIOUR

A LEARNED BEHAVIOUR

A LEARNED BEHAVIOUR

So here is a Story – Once upon a time, there was baby Gabbar Singh, who grew up to be exploitative and a criminal. Yes, I know, you have read so much about the Nature versus the Nurture principle and figured, that we need a mix of both to be ‘Who We Are!’ So, let me take you through the probable causes “But there are likely to be hundreds, if not thousands, of genes that will incrementally increase your likelihood of being involved in a crime even if it only intensifies that probability by 1 percent,” he said. “It still is a genetic effect. And it’s still important.” The link between genes and crime is a divisive issue in the criminology discipline, which has primarily focused on environmental and social factors that cause or influence deviant behavior. So, Baby Gabbar Singh learned deviant behaviour from his environment through observation! of why ‘Baby Singh’ became ‘Gabbar Singh’. And this is my theory completely. Ready?

So when Baby Singh was born, he was born as a blank slate, with genes that supported a lot of his physical characteristics that made him similar to his parents, other species of our kind (people) and to Orangutans (as per the research explained in the previous articles). Baby Singh had no knowledge and no skills at this point, however, Baby Singh had genes that would support his learning and develop his interest to learn. Learn what, you may ask and from whom or what? Do you remember the 1% genes that underlie differences in people’s personalities, our characteristics, our traits, our experiences, our practices (from the previous article)? Yes, that is the gene that I am referring to. Now let us shift our focus from my theory to scientifically proven theories.

A paper is written by Dr. Kevin M. Beaver from Florida State University and Dr. Brian B. Boutwell at Sam Houston State University on Criminology focussed on whether genes could likely cause a person to become a life-course-persistent offender which is characterized by anti-social behavior during childhood that could later progress to violent or serious criminal acts later in life. Brian said

there is no gene for criminal behavior. He said crime is a learned behavior

“But there are likely to be hundreds, if not thousands, of genes that will incrementally increase your likelihood of being involved in a crime even if it only intensifies that probability by 1 percent,” he said. “It still is a genetic effect. And it’s still important.” The link between genes and crime is a divisive issue in the criminology discipline, which has primarily focused on environmental and social factors that cause or influence deviant behaviour. So, Baby Gabbar Singh learned deviant behavior from his environment through observation!

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99% SAME AND 1% DIFFERENT

99% SAME AND 1% DIFFERENT

99% SAME AND 1% DIFFERENT

Among all the great apes, Orangutans are humans’ most distant cousins. The researchers found that the Human and Orangutan genomes are 97 percent identical. No wonder, we are always so jumpy, restless, playful, sometimes solitary, and attached to our young. Humans share at least 28 unique physical characteristics with orangutans but only 2 with chimps and 7 with gorillas. For instance, thickly enamelled molar teeth with flat surfaces, greater asymmetries between the left and right side of the brain, an increased cartilage-to-bone ratio in the forearm, and similarly shaped shoulder blades. So the next time, we see an orangutan, let’s be Respectful!

Well, last week, I initiated the Nature-Nurture angle to understanding who we are, shall we drill a little further to see where it leads us? John Watson, the founder of Behaviourism, said that if we gave him a dozen healthy babies, he could take any one of them at random and train him or her to become any type of person that he could mould people’s interests,motivations, emotions, abilities, and traits into whatever he chose. The idea that people are born more or less as a blank slate, and gain their personalities through experience and learning, from the environment dominated the early studies, but fizzled out soon Wondering why?

Let me put it this way. It’s like asking what factors are important in baking a cake—the ingredients, or how the ingredients are prepared (nature) and the process of baking (nurture). You can’t have a cake without both ingredients and a high temperature, and you can’t have a personality without both genetic factors and personal experiences that occur within certain environments. So what have we learnt so far,

more than 99% of every person’s genes are identical to those of every other person and we also share about 97% of our genes with Orangutans, but that 1% of our genes—are the genes that make each of us look and act differently from other people. Those genes underlie differences in people’s personalities, our characteristics, our traits, our experiences, our practices and that is where the story of Character Development begins!

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CHARACTER BY NURTURE AND NATURE!

CHARACTER BY NURTURE AND NATURE!

CHARACTER BY NURTURE AND NATURE!

So, now that you are clear about the definitions, and probably had the time to ponder over the questions I asked in the previous newsletter. Let me dwell deeper into our ‘Character’ – ‘The mental and moral qualities distinctive to an Individual.” Character can be traced back to the Greek charassein, meaning “to sharpen, cut in furrows, or engrave.” This word gave the Greeks charaktēr, a noun meaning “mark, distinctive quality” (a meaning that was shared by the Latin character). Just like the word Character can be traced back to its roots, I think it’s time to trace our ‘Characters’ to a Biology class. So here goes!!

Meet the Chromosomes. It is said, in the nucleus of each cell in our body are 23 pairs of chromosomes. One of each pair comes from our father, and the other comes from our mother. The chromosomes are made up of strands of the molecule DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), and the DNA is grouped into segments known as genes. A gene is the basic biological unit that transmits characteristics from one generation to the next.

Human cells have about 25,000 genes. The genes of different members of the same species are almost identical. The DNA in your genes, for instance, is about 99.9% the same as the DNA in my genes and in the DNA of every other human being. These common genetic structures lead members of the same species to be born with a variety of behaviours that come naturally to them and that define the characteristics of the species. These abilities and characteristics are known as instincts — complex inborn patterns of behaviours that help ensure survival and reproduction (Tinbergen, 1951). Different animals have different instincts. Birds naturally build nests, dogs are naturally loyal to their human caretakers, and humans instinctively learn to walk and to speak and understand language. Sometimes, some of these genes are more predominant in others, hence some are better skilled in these instincts and perform better. So that brings me to a question.. If Nature decides it all, then what role does nurture play in the development of our Characteristics and Personality?

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