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The apple doesn't fall far from the tree

Some people inherit a beautiful mansion in the South of France while others, (unfortunately including myself) inherit poor blood circulation from their progenitors. From the moment we open our eyes - Hello, World! - all we do is absorb our parents’ actions, their entire way of being. At some point (definitely around adolescence) we have a clear, exhaustive checklist of our parents' weaknesses, what we never want to become. But, I wonder: are all those weaknesses handed down to the next generations? How on Earth do we break the genetic loop to save humanity from inherited flaws? Are we all destined or doomed to become our parents?

This weekend, my boyfriend’s mum and grandmother were visiting. They’re both women with strong convictions, you can rarely alter their perspective. My mother-in-law tried to convince her mother to get a more comfortable purse, a crossbody one. She’s quite the persistent type - a precious family heirloom. The funny thing is that the more she insisted (and, believe me, she insisted thoroughly) the more resistant her rival was. She encountered the exact same stubborness, forming a beautiful never-ending mother-daughter spiral, two mirrors facing each other.

I then asked myself how much of my parents I had in me. Sit tight. For starters, I’m quite the drama queen, I appreciate good taste and I’m disciplined, sometimes manipulative. My mum's legacy. I’m quirky and creative, in need of attention, validation and approval 24/7. I love being the centre of attention. That can only come from my dad, the artist. As a bizarre result of a merge, there is some shared inheritance too. The ones who know me well will tell you I suffer too much about a bunch of things - my dog being unleashed, walking home alone, the police staring at me… but I do appreciate the random details that surround me, a bit like Amélie, a bit like Pollyanna. I owe that to both of my parents.

The Theory of Evolution says that if you’re alive today it can only mean one thing: you’re the fittest of the fittest. You might not be made of gold, but you’re definitely made by the genes who survived the most challenging stunts of the universe. So, inheritance aside, our parents (or the fossil version of them) must have done something legitimate if we’re standing here right now. That doesn’t mean they’re flawless but, at the very least, their flaws could be useful for survival. I know what you’re thinking: “how little did I know when I was a teenager and heard my mum yelling you’re going to be just like me someday”. Technically speaking, there are three different strategies to cope with our parents' ways (adjusting glasses): there’s the replicative script, when we repeat our parents’ behaviour. The corrective script, when we consciously choose to do things differently. And since our progenitors are no Wikipedia (or Vogue) there’s the improvised script, when we need to come up with a new behaviour out of necessity.

The truth is, we should praise our parents and ancestors (go thank them r.n.) as they provided us with the tools to unlock this game’s next level. The good traits will remain, the flaws will eventually turn into strengths. And how do I know that? I’ll leave you with this comforting evidence: even Darwin’s sideburns have evolved (thank God).



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