I am a Product of My Environment
The development of each individual is highly dependent on his/her environment. Naturally, I am not an exception and the formation of my personality and my identity was, to a significant extent, influenced by my environment. At the same time, I would like to underline that, in spite of the significant impact of our environment, we are still different that is basically determined by psychological as well as physiological peculiarities of each individual. On the other hand, I can easily identify myself with my community that means that I perceive myself as a member of the particular socio-cultural group, which values I share and which social, moral, and cultural norms I accept and obey to.
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On analyzing my development, I should emphasize the fact that, at different stages of my development, which basically correspond to the stages defined by Vygotsky, the impact of my environment was different. To put it more precisely, it is rather the changes in my environment and its significance for me that influenced my personality but not the extent to which my environment influenced me. What is meant here is the fact that at the beginning, at first stages of my development, my parents played the most important role in my life. In fact, I should admit that I idealized them and I really wanted to be similar to them in my adult life. As I started to attend school my teachers enlarged the circle of meaningful adults that influenced my personal views, beliefs, and behavior. As the matter of fact, it is my parents and my teachers, as well as other adults that set rules and defined my values, standards behavior, etc. until the age of ten.
However, as I entered the adolescent stage, my personal development was consistently affected by physiological changes that occurred to me. At this stage, my peers became significantly more important for me, while my parents as well as teachers had lost their authority. In such a way, being accepted by my peers and gaining their respect practically became the sense of my life at the epoch.
Nevertheless, as I grew older, I have started to search more consistent objectives in my life. Now, I would say that I have started to search myself and my place in this life and in the community I live in. Eventually, I understood that my peers are important but I cannot sacrifice myself for their sake, neither I can change my personality, change my personal beliefs only because they are different from those of my peers. As a result, I started to develop my own set of values, principles, in accordance to which I could live and feel good.
At the same time, I still had and have the need to be useful for other people. In fact, it seems that my life is purposeless if other people do not even notice that I exist in this world. This is why, even at the present moment, I cannot distance from my socio-cultural environment. Even though I understand that I am unique and different from others, but I still remain one of them, a person that has similar philosophy, views, and beliefs as the majority of people that live in the hood. —————————————————————————–
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