Answer to question are we born with courage, etc. or do we acquire it in life on our journey?

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This is the old question of nuture vs nature.  Are we born with a quality or do we have that quality instilled in us due to living in our families?  I believe we are made up of basically three items:  1)  Our basic personality 2)The family in which we are raised 3) The culture in which we are raised.  So, the biggest reason you may be different from your siblings is that your basic personality is different from theirs.  Also, your parents were in a different place and had different growth patterns when they were raising you versus when they were raising your sibling/s.  The culture may have changed a bit also when you were raised versus the culture your siblings were raised in. 

Another thought that comes to me is a List of Human Needs that I learned from a psychology book.  This list was written by Henry Murray and came from Psychogenic Needs, Psychology It's Principles and Meanings, 3rd edition, Holt Rinehart & Winsont, NY, 1979 edition.  I have put Dr. Murray's list into categories of Support, Intimacy, Submissiveness and Aggression (Positive and Negative).  They are as follows:

SUPPORT contains deference, succorance, understanding, affiliation and nurturance.

INTIMACY contains sentience, sex, exhibition and play.

SUBMISSIVENESS contains abasement, harmavoidance, infavoidance and rejection.

AGGRESSION (Positive & Negative) contains achievement, autonomy, counteraction, defendance, dominance and order.  (Please Note:  Some people from dysfunctional homes require a high amount of order in their adult lives probably because they didn't have as much order when they were growing up as they would have liked.)

Since these words aren't as common now, I will list definitions that Dr Murray gave for them:


Deference - To admire and support a superior.  To praise, honor or eulogize, to conform to custom.

Succorance - To be nursed, supported, sustained, surrounded, protected, loved, advised, guided, indulged, forgiven, consoled.

Understanding - To ask or answer general questions.  To be interested in theory.  To speculate, formulate abstractly, analyze and generalize.

Affiliation - To draw near and enjoy cooperation or reciprocation with an allied other.  To adhere and remain loyal to a friend.

Nurturance - To give sympathy to and gratify the needs of a helpless other.  To feed, help, support, console, protect, comfort, nurse, and heal.


Sentience - To seek and enjoy sensuous impressions.

Sex - To form and further an erotic relationship.  To have sexual intercourse.

Exhibition - To excite, amaze, fascinate, entertain, sock, intrigue, amuse or entice others.

Play  - To seek enjoyable relaxation of stress (Some adults from dysfunctional homes have a great deal of trouble just playing in life due to the fact that life was so stressful and serious when they were children.)

SUBMISSIVENESS - To submit passively to external force.  To accept injury, blame, criticism and punishment.  (Again, people raised in some dysfunctional homes may learn to be very submissive because they have been trained to do so in a family where there was only "one way" to do most things.  Individuality is usually not rewarded in a dysfunctional home).

Abasement - To admit inferiority, error, wrong doing or defeat.  (Again, people in some dysfunctional homes had parents who unduly criticized and yelled at them during childhood.  This means that these people, now in their lives, would attract people who would criticize and attack them because their abasement level is high.  They need to admit inferiority or wrong doing.  It has become part of their need that's necessary now in their life.)

Harmavoidance - To admit inferiority, error, wrongdoing or defeat.

Infavoidance - To avoid humiliation.  To leave embarassing situations or avoid conditions that may lead to belittlement.  To refrain from action because of the fear of failure.  (Therefore, avoidance becomes the most popular defense mechanism, which leads to many people not experiencing success very often in their lives).

Rejection - To exclude, abandon, expel or remain indifferent to an inferior other.

AGGRESSION (Positive & Negative)

Achievement - To accomplish something difficult.  To master manipulate or organize physical objects, human beings, or ideas as rapidly and as independently as possible.  To surpass others and excel oneself.

Autonomy - To get free, shake off restraint, break out of confinement.  To resist coercion and restriction.  To be independent and free to act according to impulse.

Counteraction - To efface a dishonor by action.  To search for obstacles and difficulties to overcome. 

Defendance - To defend the self against assault, criticism and blame.  To conceal or justify a misdeed, failure or humiliation.

Dominance - To control one's human environment.  To influence or direct the behavior of others by suggestion, seduction, persuasion or command.  To dissuade, restrain or prohibit.

Order - To put things in order, to achieve cleanliness, arrangement, organization, balance, neatness, tidiness and precision. 

Author's Note: I have taken off the comments portion of this blog as I was getting a great deal of Spam comments. All of these articles may still be read from the blog. If you would like to comment or talk to me, either by phone or email, please click on the "contact us" link for more information. Thanks so much for your cooperation.


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