One of THE Questions... "Nature or Nurture?"

Ryan Reynolds just got People magazine's Sexiest Man of the Year cover... and he is a fellow Vancouverite.In his interview he said something like..."Canadians can apologize for anything, anytime anywhere at the drop of a hat. We have an amazing ability to say "I'm sorry".' I think that there were more than a few Canadians who laughed at themselves over that one...myself I relive my formative years back at home in Vancouver over the holidays brings the question to mind..."How much of me is "me" and how much is me, because of where I grew up?"

Quick list that I think is true: Canadians are pretty well educated...I think 5th in the world list overall( no offense...just data here, but America comes in at 35 I think.)I always read a lot and was privileged to go a great all girls prep school which gave me amazing academic training( I was writing 2-3 page study papers that I had to research in grade five and writing formal final exams at the same age. I chose to be in debate, public speaking and drama as well as student government...but everyone had to be able to study and sit and write formal exams and papers from a young age.I had a few classes under my belt from the University of British Columbia when I went to the University of Arizona...and all my Canadian credits transferred 2-1.) but all of the people I hang out with here have a great grasp of what's going on in the world...nobody is a narrow perspective of religious belief's,,,and I mean NO ONE no matter what their family background or religious affiliation.Canadians on the whole are a polite considerate people... actually we are famous for it....our 'niceness'our consideration our tolerance and laid back demeanor.

So when people tell me I am gracious, or well mannered...well...I wouldn't have had any friends I assume I am not just naturally polite...but socially well trained.
I have always been aware of how important it is to eat nutritionally, to exercise to enjoy the outdoors and nature. this was partly my family, but in greater part the amazing lap of mother nature that is British Columbia. Ocean, rivers, forests, lakes, mountains, orchard laden valleys, was the most beautiful place in the world...the most most incredible gift to have that as my home.I think that one of the reasons Canadians in general have a different relationship to their because their world is different. Even if you live in one of our big cities...mother nature is right there. You cannot ignore her and she is not subject to man's dominion...we sit in HER lap.You can feel it when you are here-every where you turn, you cannot ignore the fact that we are a minuscule part of the bigger picture... and it changes you.People here are more respectful, more peaceful, less materialistic, more balanced...because they have respect for their mother and some very good values of life have been bred to the bone. Is this world I describe perfect? Of course not... but everyone that comes here, thousands and thousands of visitors now comment and notice because what I grew up with is obvious even in a few hours to someone who arrives here from another place.

Cultures are formed by their my home in the larger sense was Canada, and in the smaller sense the home my parents gave me, Greece.My parents were, and are, people of good values and an honorable sensibility.When someone gives their word...that means everything. You offer people hospitality, because when there is nothing else to share...there is nothing more valuable than offering someone sustenance. I don't know how many times I saw my father offer people food, My parents made their lives here; they were born in Greece, but became adults here in British Columbia... and unlike many immigrants...never yearned for Greece. They taught me of my heritage, they gave me roots...but they never said that Canada wasn't home.Canada to them was the vessel that brought their dreams to life, and they were- like all good Greeks- very appreciative of any hospitality offered to them... and Canada gave them a home.

perhaps my upbringing was different too to that of most of first generation, because my parents wee educated, spoke English fluently, read, traveled, and saw the world as one of an infinite and wonderful rainbow or people and places to see and show me.So is my appreciation and respect for other peoples and places me...or because of my parents?Is my appreciation of nature, environment, health and or because of where I grew up?Am I genetically inclined to be kind? Probably. Am I genetically inclined to be empathetic? Probably. But where I grew up certainly influenced me as much as my parents.

I am fortunate. I grew up with love, a roof over my head, food on the table and parents who were wonderful role models.The backyard was a safe place to be 'and incredibly beautiful as well.Of course that made me part of who I am...and I will probably never much of it was the 'where' and how much of it was the' how . When you are surrounded by an overwhelming majority that show similar traits and cannot dismiss just how important the 'where' is. It is life changing and incredibly formative.My parents didn't hit me or disrespect me...ever. When i was little my dad would ask me what I though and he would listen to my answers. My mom and dad showed me how to treat others, so that I would know how i wanted to be treated. My world was safe and beautiful... and that is what it takes to create a nest where a person can grow, flourish and thrive... and that will never change- it is just more uncommon that it should be.
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