No one ever is. There is no “good at writing” gene. Crawling out the womb with tendencies towards certain behaviors? Yes. That’s called personality. Everyone has that.

But what about heredity? Both of my brothers jump into burning buildings for a living. I decided to…do whatever the hell this is. Yeah, I could have become a firefighter or a paramedic. I had the choice, but just because we call it “free will” doesn’t mean that fighting fires would present itself as meaningful to me. My personality transcribes the world in such a way that podcasts and books are more interesting to me than burning buildings.

Is this predestination? Yes, but it’s not as grim as it sounds. Personality is as fixed as bedrock, but personality can also be transformed. Even the most conscientious of us can learn to take a break once in awhile.

We’re born with certain proclivities towards certain experiences. That doesn’t mean that you can put The Odyssey in the hands of a toddler. It means that our interests metamorphize, take shape, come alive, over time. We come “pre-built” with things that develop. Just as our arms and legs get longer as we progress through childhood, so too do our proclivities towards certain experiences that the world has to offer to those like us.

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