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jeudi 24 avril 2014


Nature vs Nurture
Science vs Entrepreneurial
While watching a short video about some of the eye boggling science that is coming out of  Israel, I began thinking about Nature vs Nurture.
It is something we learn at school but soon after that we abandon that idea. I thought to myself, what is happening in Israel, a small country, surrounded by very militant, destructive forces, yet managing to invent, go forward, publish much more than all of its enemies including those flush with oil money, has to do with Nature.
No Arabs have won a Nobel Prize in recent memory but they like many of their beliefs like to go back to the glory of their centuries past. Yes their civilization was brilliant but was soon surpassed by those of the Europeans even when Ottoman Empire was at its peak.
Middle Easterners, with exception of Iranians don't seem to contribute much to the Science of the day, neither do Indians or Chinese, who are good at other things, but sluggish at other things. Individual Indians have become great entrepreneurs in the USA but you don't hear of them spearheading Science in any large way compared to the thousands who are in the industry.
So Individuals doing well, whether in Business or other entrepreneurial matters may have to do with their NURTURE.
As an anthropologist, I understand both Nature and Nurture may be constructed entities but in my mind, there seems to be a connection between Nature and evolving belief systems, and a lack of rigid belief in faith or dogma. Whereas those who do not succeed, seem to be stuck in millennia old dogma or belief systems which do not allow them to evolve. In Asia, I found both Islam and Hinduism to be very restrictive but Buddhism to be less so.
In Asia, those individuals who are extraordinarily good people do seem to have liberated themselves from fanaticism and keep an open mind. They have the best of the both oriental and occidental world.
Islam and Judaism and Christianity all encompass many races, but culturally there are great differences, even among the adherents of the same faith. Malays and Indonesians are the same race of people but their observation of the religion is very different and it is reflected in their differences in open mindedness and innovation, Indonesians being more so.
My Chinese Malaysian friends would remind me that the Chinese are driven by a sense of survival, which would cross both Nature and Nurture divide, but much more Nurture than Nature since Chinese do make excellent Entrepreneurs.
How nice if there was a way for us to know what plays a greater role in our own upbringing, then we could make appropriate choices of our careers.
I can give a great example from my profession, Medicine. It is most suited for people who are blessed with Nature, so that they can truly contribute to the welfare of others. Those whose life is dominated by Cultural Nurturing, might use Medicine as an entrepreneurial vehicle thus hijacking the original humanitarian aim of Medical Care. Indian and Pakistani doctors (Hindus or Moslems) are good examples of the latter.
Like in anything else broad generalizations would lead to the accusations of racism and elitism but I remember very clearly what Sr Altschuler, son of one of the founding fathers of Cuban Communist Party once said to me:
There are two types of People, one would like do things for others, and the other who would like to do things for themselves.
A good definition of Nature vs Nurture, I think after all that many years.
Then he added, if you belong to the second category, sitting on the balcony of his house in Vedado, La Habana, I urge you to go to the USA, you would love it. But by chance you belong to the first category, you will find Cuba to be a paradise.
As I prepare to return to Cuba after wandering all around the world, I have to agree with Sr Altschuler!
Made in Israel-Medicine