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April 25, 1998.
Zelimir Koljesar


Identity Essay


What factors shape our personalities? For generations people have asked that question. There are a number of influences involved in developing one's characteristics, encompassing both nature and nurture. Some specific factors which have formed my values are family background, the media and my aspirations towards the future.
Certain characteristics are genetically transferred from generation to generation. Inheritance is probably the basis of everything, even though it cannot be taken alone. Each person is born with a specific and unique genetic makeup. Many features are genetically determined, but they may be modified. It is the parents' responsibility to teach their kids specific lifestyles and "rules". The general rules to follow are that children have to be polite and respect elders. They also learn by observing other family members, sometimes unconsciously. Parents are also there to push the young ones to do more work if needed and behave in a specified way. The living environment is very significant. A child with better qualities is more likely to emerge from a healthy home. Another important influence is derived from traditions and customs. The holidays have an essential role, especially in my life. They remind me of my culture and show where I belong. This is why my religion along with my culture had a particularly great impact upon building my individuality.

One of today's major factors of influence is the media. This includes television, music, books and even the Internet. The influence of the media is greater than ever before. Children often sit in front of the TV being "brainwashed" and saying that there is nothing else to do. One of the concerns often discussed is the effect of violence (in movies and games) on development of young children. Usually, the media is where one finds a style he or she likes. This may be followed by a certain way of dressing and acting. Personally, I am fond of dance music and baggy clothes. Through the media, young people discover their idols. Idols can affect the individual in two ways; for example, Michael Jordan raises the hopes of every young basketball player. Coincidentally, there are also beings with evil natures who can negatively influence people. The positive thing about the media is that some individuals might be able to develop special skills simply by watching educational TV shows. This can open a path and prepare them for selecting their upcoming careers.

Every person should establish hopes for a future. This is formed on the basis of a number of influences such as: books, school, the media and others. This is all tied in one big knot and makes one choose his/her own upcoming field of employment. Talent is usually used to show someone what he/she is capable of. Now, it is up to an individual to make a choice whether or not he/she will go as far as he or she can. Most students make decisions after high school; however, it is not that simple. The individual has to have determination, a wish for success and a good work ethic. I motivate myself by setting up goals for my future. With enough effort given, I can achieve my dreams. Some big changes in life can alter these career goals. I have had the privilege of the immigration experience. After moving to Canada numerous new opportunities have been opened to me. Someone's future also depends upon whether he/she is optimistic or pessimistic. When all these factors are combined, they shape one's personality.

These examples illustrate of possible influences on personal character. Their common goal is that they all perfectly blend forming one unique identity.


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