A friend of mine and I talk about nature vs nurture sometimes. He’s a scientist, with the sort of specialization you google and still aren’t sure about. When I ask him genetics questions, I suspect it’s like a five year old who tells knock knock jokes. (You keep asking who’s there to be kind, but inwardly you are groaning.) All the same, he answers my questions with good humour and fact. We never seem to talk about luck. I suppose there’s no science in lucky stars.
It’s unsurprising I would think about what we inherit and what we learn as I was driving home from a family Christmas in Calgary last night. I made the drive all right, but somewhere shortly after I started my memory took a wrong turn.
I think back to the choices I made between the ages of 13 and 17. By logical outcome, there should have been a bill to be paid. Based on the decisions, I could be dead, I could be in prison, I could have had the course of my life catastrophically altered. My bill simply never came due.
I had company on my wrong turn memory lane. The people for whom that bill did come due. They paid it with their lives, with their freedom. Some of them are still crushed under the weight of the payments. If we want to stick to science, that’s Newton’s third law- every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
I am surprised when people tell me they are self made. I’m made of luck. My bill never came due. Somehow I escaped the equal and opposite reaction.
At the end of my drive and my trip down memory lane, I pulled in front of my house.
I made it home.
So many of them didn’t.
I thanked my lucky stars.