My genes are too tight
On my balcony this morning I spent time formulating possible excuses for my lifelong behaviours. I am, and have always been, selfish. I have never been good at maintaining relationships. The center of my life has always been my partner, but when she starts to disinterest me, or irritate me, I am quick to change. I have been changing partners on a regular basis since I first started dating. I am not a great father, but getting better with age. I don’t remember birthdays or anniversaries.
I am selfish, and it haunts me.
So the question I pose is whether I am to blame for who I am, or am I a product of the environment I grew up in? Or could the answer perhaps lie in my genes?
Bear with me on this…
It is a well known scientific fact that male lions are polygamous and most species of penguin are monogamous, some staying with their partners for life. Is it at all conceivable that whether or not you have polygamous tendencies or monogamous tendencies could be due to an evolutionary trait passed down from generation to generation? No doubt education and upbringing have a part to play in how humans behave. But lets just say that the genetic makeup of lions may consist of a polygamous gene (P-gene), and penguins a monogamous gene (M-gene). Is it not thus possible to imagine that some humans may also have P-genes where others have M-genes? We all know of many people who are, and remain happily married for their whole lives. And then there is the other side of the spectrum – me, and possibly you too. It certainly doesn’t feel like I need to procreate in order to ensure the survival of the species. This planet has become over-populated with humans at an extreme cost to other species, both plant and animal. The only foreseeable way to ensure the survival of the species may be to seek out Earth 2.0. And even if we did manage to inhabit other solar systems, who is to say it won’t end in a Bigger Bang. Here again, I assume that if it is feasible that a Big Bang caused the creation of the universe, then it is highly feasible that a Bigger Bang could destroy it. OK, I am waffling (another genetic trait?).
So I have come to the conclusion that I have a P-gene and there is nothing I can do about it. Further evidence to support my theory is the fact that my mother is on her third marriage, and my father um, six, maybe seven?
The question remains, is it a genetic trait that I may be prone to marry again and again?
Is it not also conceivable that the couple you know that just got married will stay together for the rest of their lives because both sets of parents did?
Can we blame our faults on genetics?
The study of genetics tells us that certain traits, like hair or eye colour, can be passed on to future generations through sequences of nucleotides that make up our unique DNA. I have no doubt that dogs can inherit aggressive behaviour from their parents. So if behavioural aspects can be inherited, is it not feasible to assume that altruism or selfishness, or even a sense of humour can also?
I AM MY FATHER’s SON
So that is my excuse - QED.
Dean Owen is Co-Founder of Quimojo, a revolutionary new concept in Global Campus Recruitment.
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