Saturday, October 17, 2009

Genes and the Man

This morning I woke up and discovered I had turned into my ancestors. I noticed that my eyes were becoming more and more like my parents’, the way my lips formed a frown reminded me of my grandmother. I itched to cut my hair super short, like the way my mother and one of my aunts do. Something in the air sent me into a sneezing spell, I sneezed until I cried. Then I remembered that my father has the same allergy. To dust, or whatever it is that makes you sneeze.

Did you ever look in the mirror or at your photos and realize that you are turning into your parents? Or anyone from your family tree? Have you ever caught yourself acting the way your parents did? Did you ever hear yourself laughing like your crazy old uncle? Have you become nitpicky like your fussy old aunt?

Heredity is more complex than I thought.

Like it or not, we cannot escape from our genes. So your parents are not the most beautiful people, or your uncles/aunts are not the gentlest in the neighbourhood, or your grandfather was famous for his temper. And you thought you could turn into a beautiful gentle person. Hah! Easier said than done. We inherit not just our looks, but our temper, our moods, and the little things that make a person complete. The way you tilt your head. The way you walk when you are in a hurry. That booming laughter. That peculiar angle at which your elbow bends when you stand. That swinging walk.That inability to sing.

And it’s not only with looks and mannerisms. We also inherit the diseases and afflictions and ailments. Did you think that splotchy skin was because of your bad karma? Or did you blame your stressful lifestyle for that thinning hair? If you think those achy joints were because of the winter colds, you might want to rearrange your thoughts. We all have seen cases of whole families suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes, a particular cancer etc. My family leans towards the high BP thing, so I have to be careful and watch what I eat.

But, I am not just a harbinger of doom.  There is always a silver lining.  Those smooth skin, those lovely eyes, those long eyelashes, those beautiful shoulders, those perfect feet – they all are handed down to you by a long line of ancestors.  Your charm, your intellect, your perfect sense of humour, your musical gift, your athletic ability, your infectious laughter, your forgiving heart, your kind soul, all the things that make you perfect, you have your ancestors to thank for. And in due course of time you too will pass those features down to future generations.

12 comments:

  1. Too true. I am becoming more like my mother everyday

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  2. diary - In a recent photo of mine I looked exactly like my grandmother. That was scary!!

    ruolngulworld - Why so gloomy?

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  3. I think it's kinda cool that we inherit a part of our ancestors..It's like they are living in/through us...and so will we..in our children and their children...Scary but true...

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  4. I think we only inherit the physiological aspects of our ancestors. I have a theory that we subconsciously inherit our parents manners and stuff because as kids, they play our role models and we would always look up to them.
    Who didn't want to be like his/her folks from the first time you utter the word Pa/Nu/Ma.. etc. wearing their clothes, shoes and copying their movements.(I've cut myself with razor when I was little, and I have a scar to prove it :P)As we grow older, our views may change, but the first impression is kinda hard-coded unknowingly onto our brains.

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  5. I have to disagree with you there, red, because I used to be the most placid, even tempered, unassertive, passive, accepting of everything kind of person while my mother was dynamic, forceful, assertive and very hot-tempered. In recent years I find myself becoming increasingly hot tempered/irritable/intolerant/highly strung. It's made me wonder if it might be due to the weight of so many heavy responsibilities on my shoulders or have I just always been my mother's daughter all along?

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  6. Anonymous - Definitely scary. Sometimes I ask myself “Did I get only the bad stuff?” And like you said our ancestors live in us and through us, which is really incredible.

    blackestred & J - I think we inherit everything from our ancestors, physiological, psychological, every possible feature, much more than we are aware of. As we grow older we keep on discovering our parents in us. We could try suppressing the undesirable qualities, but I can’t say how far we would succeed in doing that. Because they keep popping up when you least expect them. And it always seems like we get only the bad genes and we have to try and be good with a lot of effort. Who says the good things in life come easy?

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  7. Mom and Dad are Super hardworking. I wish I could inherit that :-D

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  8. Ka nau ka han hnial zeuh teng che. Thlirna atang chuan kan pianzia leh nihphung te hi kan in thlah chhawng a, kan zia erawh hi chu kan awmna a zirin a in thlak thin. Behavioral genetists ho chuan helam hi an chhui nasa a, inhnialna ti tamtu pawh a ni.

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  9. Mimi - I'm sure you will turn out to be more super hardworking and successful than your parents.

    vana - ah nia mithiam te thusawi chu a dik ngei ka ring. Ka han sawi ber hi chu kan pianphung leh rilru puthmang ani, nia awmna leh chenna hmun hian mi chu a influence thui thei khawp mai, mahse pianpui rilru kalhmang hi chu kan nei theuh e ka tihna ani e.

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  10. heredity is both scary & interesting...freaky but fun...new to ur blog...liked it

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  11. Cleopatra - Scary, interesting, freaky, fun... all the things that make a person. And thanks for visiting.

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