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We argue that humans develop, during their life from early on to mature age, a certain sense & sensibility (perception) about the “things” in life. Sense and sensibilities color our lives, and we all know the saying that we “see” life as through a lenses: with “rosie-colored lenses” or “black ‘n’ white lenses,” etc.
Nature, Nurture, and Personal Responsibility
The foundations of our sense & sensibility are perhaps given to us by “nature” as part of our biological endowment. We might say that we are born and grow up with certain inclinations or propensities. However, “nurture,” the influence of our relatives and other people around us (society), surely directs the inevitable development of our sense and sensibilities somehow.
Will sense & sensibility have firmed up in our twenties or thirties, and eventually become stale like old bread? It seems that is the case for some people. Bigotry and prejudice are difficult to live with.
Topping it off, it seems that our continuous personal decisions over the span of our live make a heck of a difference as well. At times, we consciously and willfully follow our “natural” inclinations; at other times we go against them. We consciously and willfully respond to “nurture’s” prompts, at other times we go against them. No, we do not just follow nature or nurture. We do make choices. Humans are, we believe, opportunistic creatures.
What are you seeing in life: is the glass half empty or half full? What are you seeing in other people: are they basically good or bad? How do you evaluate the past, and how do you anticipate the future? It so much depends on your current set of sense & sensibility. Are you really aware of that? Every day, in critical situations? Like when you are getting into a personal relationship with someone else?
3 Must-Haves of Sense & Sensibility
- Your sense & sensibility must be your own, especially when you choose a partner for life. If they are not your own but those of your peers, you must find your own. They can very well be like those of your older peers, but they must become your own. Put up a fight if necessary, it probably will be a fight with your own mind!
Your older peers will most likely be gone by the time you will look back at your life and evaluate the outcomes of your choices – for better or worse. You do not want to have anybody else to blame for any bad; and you should be able to be proud of yourself for the accomplishments of your life.
- Your sense & sensibility must be firm enough, especially when you choose a partner for life. It is a problem if you are not sure what your sense and sensibilities really are. Some people are simply too young when they marry or get married.
Soon after marriage, sense and sensibilities may finally burst fore in the form of involuntary likes and dislikes. These likes and dislikes could end up being in conflict with choices made earlier on. It is painful to disentangle and resolve such a mess. A lot of young people have gotten very hurt.
- Your sense & sensibility must be informed and not just by instincts, especially when you choose a partner for life. There is so much more to learn about life these days. Academics say that humans are well adapted to the pre-modern life style of hunters and gatherers. People lived in small bands or tribes, forming innate sense and sensibilities to insure their survival. Bonding together as a family was often a matter of life and death.
Nowadays, governments pay many to just stay alive, women fend for themselves as CEOs, medicine has greatly expanded the average life span, families have gotten smaller, frozen food has replaced rotten food, we got porn all over the Internet, and ponder if we need to get married. All this and more is really new and it is throwing a lot of people off balance. By all means, talk to folks about that and read a good book or two.
Humans take Risks
Making personal choices, carefully, does afford us the opportunity to improve ourselves and our prospects for well-being. Our choices may at times contradict our sense and sensibilities to a point of actually modifying them for better or worse. It’s a risk humans are willing to take when they get married.
Be careful were you go with your sense & sensibility. You can easily dig yourself into a hole while cultivating sense & sensibility that will be in conflict with your own and your partner’s well-being. Take the road less traveled!