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Nature vs. Nurture

My husband I have a blended family that includes four young men and one gal. Out of these five, all have an inclination toward the arts.

The mural outside of the Music Box Theater in Chicago. Painted by George Booker

My husband’s oldest son is a trained artist, a graduate of Maryland Institute College of Art. His second son trained as an actor with Chicago’s world-famous Second City, but has a talent for drawing and painting like his brother. My oldest son is a jeweler, with an Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree; his sister is studying music production and promotion. My youngest son seems to be interested in video production. I find it interesting and somewhat baffling that each is drawn to the creative rather than the scientific, mathematical, business or, even, analytical trades.

Each of them is sensitive, kind, funny, and thoughtful, and sees the world through a lens of what is possible.

My husband claims that his oldest son was a colicky infant and only soothed by showing works of art hanging on walls. This clearly indicates a natural visual-sense dominance. My oldest son claims he became a jeweler because I signed him up for a summer class at a local art program. He found his calling because he was exposed to this medium.

I do not think I, or anyone else, will ever be able to determine whether nature or nurture is more important. Personally, I think it is both, which means educators must teach the arts as well as science, math, and analytical courses. After all, one never knows if showing a colicy infant art or sending a bored elementary-aged child to an art class will make all the difference in their world.

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