遺傳、環境和選擇──GENETICS, CIRCUMSTANCES, AND CHOICES

近期有許多討論,是關於我們是誰,以及我們為什麽會做我們正在做的事。有些因素是我們無法控制的,甚至是在我們出生之前就已經決定了。例如,如果長大成為一個高個子,也許超過180公分,那你就幾乎無法在賽馬中作為騎手比賽。但是,如果你的父母很矮,家族成員也不高,那麽希望成為職業籃球隊的中鋒,就不太可能了。

環境也會影響我們的生命,例如家庭的影響:家境富裕或貧窮的程度、健康狀況、能提供優良學習環境的程度等等,肯定會促成我們的個人發展。甚至「在正確的時間出現在正確的地點」,或「在錯誤的時間出現在錯誤的地點」,這種看似隨機的效果也會影響。但是,我們是否註定要被我們的環境所限制呢?

領導力顧問和作家提姆•凱特認為並非如此,他提供了一個簡單而直接的觀點:「你是被遺傳型塑出來,被遭遇的環境所影響,但你的選擇卻決定你是什麼樣的人」。

把注意力放在遺傳或我們過去發生的環境是非常危險的,因為這些都是無法改變,也永遠無法控制的。然而,我們可以控制我們的選擇-我們要如何面對這些環境。在許多方面我們看到了這一點的證據,例如在貧困家庭長大的人,有人成為吸毒成癮或參與犯罪,有人則決心盡一切努力達到卓越,成為醫生、商人或學校教師。

即使我們不能改變我們的遺傳,或將過去原生家庭的不利的環境一筆勾銷,但我們仍然可以透過選擇和決定,而大大影響自己的生命。聖經在這方面有很多論述:

你的生命投注於甚麼?我們可以將生命看向追求許多事物、許多「所謂的神」,把大部分的時間和精力都花在上面。當我們決定追求什麽,就會對我們的生命產生不可思議的影響。……今日就可以選擇所要事奉的:是你們列祖在大河那邊所事奉的神呢?…至於我和我家,我們必定事奉耶和華。」(約書亞記24章15節)。

你如何定義成功?衡量成功的方式有很多:金錢、擁有的物質、職涯升遷、身份地位和在社群的影響力等等。有些會比其他具有更高、更持久的價值。我們如何「選擇」,會引導我們的生命歷程。「不要為自己積攢財寶在地上;地上有蟲子咬,能銹壞,也有賊挖窟窿來偷。只要積攢財寶在天上;天上沒有蟲子咬,不能銹壞,也沒有賊挖窟窿來偷。因為你的財寶在哪裏,你的心也在那裏。」「一個人不能事奉兩個主;不是惡這個、愛那個,就是重這個、輕那個。你們不能又事奉 神,又事奉瑪門 ( – 瑪門:財利的意思)。」(馬太福音6章19-21、24節)。

你最看重的是什麼?在選擇優先順序、目標和目的時,我們會有很多選擇。而這些選擇在很大程度上,決定了我們擁有甚麼樣的生命。「你們當受我的教訓,不受白銀;寧得知識,勝過黃金。」(箴言8章10節)。

© 2022. Robert J. Tamasy 撰寫了《職場大使:CBMC的持續性傳統-傳福音及門徒訓練》;《企業巔峰:給今日職場從箴言而來永恆的智慧》;與Ken Johnson合著《用牧羊人的心追求生活》;與 David A. Stoddard 合著《導師之心》。他的雙週部落格是:www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com

備註:如果你有聖經,並想閱讀更多相關的內容,可以考慮以下經文(因篇幅有限,請查閱未列出的經文:馬太福音6章25-34節)

箴言3章5-6節
3:5 你要專心仰賴耶和華,不可倚靠自己的聰明,
3:6 在你一切所行的事上都要認定他,他必指引你的路。
箴言14章8節
14:8 通達人的智慧在乎明白己道;愚昧人的愚妄乃是詭詐( – 或譯:自欺)。
箴言17章24節
17:24 明哲人眼前有智慧;愚昧人眼望地極。
箴言27章20節
27:20 陰間和滅亡永不滿足;人的眼目也是如此。
路加福音16章10-15節
16:10 人在最小的事上忠心,在大事上也忠心;在最小的事上不義,在大事上也不義。
16:11 倘若你們在不義的錢財上不忠心,誰還把那真實的 錢財託付你們呢?
16:12 倘若你們在別人的東西上不忠心,誰還把你們自己的東西給你們呢?
16:13 一個僕人不能事奉兩個主;不是惡這個愛那個,就是重這個輕那個。你們不能又事奉上帝,又事奉瑪門。」
16:14 法利賽人是貪愛錢財的;他們聽見這一切話,就嗤笑耶穌。
16:15 耶穌對他們說:「你們是在人面前自稱為義的,你們的心,上帝卻知道;因為人所尊貴的,是上帝看為可憎惡的。

反省與問題討論

  1. 有哪些與生俱來的,或遺傳的因素,對你的生活與生命產生了影響?
  2. 在你所遭遇的環境中,過去和現在的哪些情況,不管是正面的還是負面的,促成了你今天的生命狀態呢?請解釋一下它們對你的影響?
  3. 你是否同意文中這樣的論述:我們是由我們的選擇決定的,而不是由我們出生時的遺傳因素或我們生命中出現的環境決定的?請解釋你的答案?
  4. 對於本週的週一嗎哪提出的問題,你的答案是什麽?
    • 你的生命投注於什麽?
    • 你如何定義成功?
    • 你最看重的是什麽?


GENETICS, CIRCUMSTANCES, AND CHOICES

By Robert J. Tamasy 

There is so much discussion these days about who we are, and why we do what we do. Some factors we cannot control, determined even before we are born. For example, if you grow up to be a tall person – perhaps over six feet tall – you will never be able to compete as a jockey in horse racing. On the other hand, if your parents are short and members of your extended family were not tall either, it would make little sense to aspire to become a center on a professional basketball team.

Circumstances can affect our lives, such as family influences; level of affluence (or the lack of it); health, and the availability of good schools definitely contribute to our personal development. Even the seemingly random effects of “being at the right place at the right time” – or being at the wrong place at the wrong time. But are we destined to be limited by our circumstances?

Leadership consultant and author Tim Kight suggests that we are not. He offers this simple but straight-forward perspective: “You are shaped by your genetics. You are influenced by your circumstances. You are defined by your choices.”

There is great danger in focusing on things like our genetics or circumstances that have occurred in our past. These cannot be changed and will always remain beyond our control. However, we can control our choices – how we respond to these circumstances. We see evidence of this in many ways: People who grew up in disadvantaged homes, one becoming addicted to drugs or involved in criminal behavior, while the other determined to do whatever is necessary to excel, becoming a physician, businessperson, or schoolteacher.

Even if we cannot change our genetics, or undo adverse circumstances from our past, we still can greatly affect our own lives by the choices and decisions we make. The Bible has much to say about this:

To what will you commit your life? We can direct our lives to the pursuit of many things, many “gods” that we can serve and receive the bulk of our time and energy. What we decide to pursue makes an incredible difference in what our lives will look like. “…choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).

How will you define success? There are many ways for measuring personal success: Money, material possessions, career advancement, status, and influence in one’s community. Some have greater, more enduring value than others. Which we choose will guide the course of our lives. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, whether moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also…. No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Mammon” (Matthew 6:19-21,24).

What will you value most? We have many options when it comes to choosing priorities, goals, and objectives. Those choices will largely determine the sum total of our lives. “Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her” (Proverbs 8:10).

© 2022. Robert J. Tamasy has written Marketplace Ambassadors: CBMC’s Continuing Legacy of Evangelism and Discipleship; Business at Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace; Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart, coauthored with Ken Johnson; andThe Heart of Mentoring, coauthored with David A. Stoddard. Bob’s biweekly blog is: www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. What are the inherent, genetic factors that have had an influence on your life?
  2. Which circumstances in your life, past and present, have contributed to where you are in life today, whether in a positive or a negative way? Explain the impact they have had on you?
  3. Do you agree with the assertion that we are defined by our choices, and not the genetic factors we are born with or the circumstances that have transpired in our lives? Why or why not?
  4. What are your answers to the questions asked in this Monday Manna:
    • To what will you commit your life?
    • How will you define success?
    • What will you value most?      

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages: Proverbs 3:5-6, 14:8, 17:24, 27:20, 28:14; Matthew 6:25-34; Luke 16:10-15


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