In my last post, I described the little white lie I told about being the real Forrest Gump … the one they made the movie about. I mentioned that I told this fib hundreds of thousands of times.
Often, a person would approach me quietly after I’ve declared my Gumpness and say, “So, how’d you get this gig?” I’d confidently repeat my fib – most times that would end our conversation. But some small percentage of the people wouldn’t buy it. They’d demand more and say, “No really, how’d you get this job?” At that point, I’d lean in and whisper, “Genetic luck, a bad haircut, and the idiot part comes natural.”
Today, let’s discuss genetic luck.
My genetic luck is the fact that I physically have a resemblance to Tom Hanks. I didn’t do anything special or intentional to create that physical resemblance. My parents married and had five children. I am the third child, and I look the way I do. While all my siblings and I share some common family resemblances – none of my siblings have ever been told they look like Tom Hanks. It’s simply the way my genes got scrambled. It’s genetic luck.
All people are born with physical appearances given to us by the combination of our birth parents’ genes. For example, if both of your parents have dark hair – the chances are you also have dark hair. If your mom is five feet tall and your dad is six feet tall, then the chances are your height is somewhere in the middle. It’s genetics. It’s the probabilities of genes combining. And it’s the luck of the gene pool. It’s something we didn’t have any control over, and it’s something that can’t be changed (without the use of a plastic surgeon’s knife). Most people accept their genetic luck and live with it.
Ironically, I didn’t always like that people said (over and over and over), “You look like Tom Hanks”. At some level, it was flattering – but I, like most people, just simply wanted to be me … and not constantly compared to someone else.
On a deeper level, our genetic luck includes our sex, personality type, raw capacity to learn (intelligence), preferences, and a million other little things. Science continues to learn more and prove that the nature versus nurture argument is an awful lot of nature – or genetic luck. Nurture is not the strong determinant to personality we once thought.
So being aware of our special gifts, talents, and genetic luck makes living life easier. It’s the difference between guiding a canoe downstream versus trying to paddle upstream … knowing your genetic luck is simply learning to go with the flow.
What’s special combination of assorted genes did your parents give you?
What interests, special gifts, and talents help you go with the flow?
What is your genetic luck?
Next Blog Title: A Bad Haircut
Next Blog Date: April 9, 2012