Environment does not make people who they are Most people consider that personal development is possible only in society. Aman should build relationships, interact, and cooperate with others in order to find out who he really is. Being within society, following its trends is profitable on the one hand and easy on the other, as the necessity to take decisions simply disappears. However, at some point a person may realize that he is no longer driven by his personal goals and moral values but is simply floating with the rest to what is accepted as good and right. Nevertheless, those people who find courage to stop and turn back usually choose the right way since it is their personal and unique.
Family environment has the strongest influence on personality. It is natural to accept our parents` views and feelings about the world unconditionally. Only getting older helps most of us realize that our parents are simple people that can be wrong about many things. They impose their moral values, their perceptions which were also inherited from similar people. C.P. Ellis accepted the ideology of Klan because his father was a participant of it, and he did not see anything wrong about it first. Being unable to earn decent money for a living he later admitted:
“Maybe they’ve had bitter experiences in this life and they had to hate somebody. So the natural person to hate would be the black person” (Terkel 4).
So as aggression and putting blame on black was accepted by his parent and society. It took some time for him to realize that the issue is not as simple as it seems. There are black whom he could respect and there were white whom he could not trust so the skin color was not as important as he thought first. Most interesting that overcoming his stereotypic visions he realized a simple thing: black were just the same human being as white:
“I begin to see, here we are, two people from far ends of the fence, havin’ identical problems, except hers bein’ black and me bein’ white” (Terkel 10).
It turned out that besides probable parents` wrong ideas even the whole society can be wrong. Thus, the aspect of nurture was and will always remain strong for many people. Environment will always press those who want to reject its well developed and formulated laws:
““When I began to organize, I began to see far deeper. I began to see people again bein’ used. Blacks against whites. I say this without any hesitancy: management is vicious. There’s two things they want to keep: all the money and all the say-so” (Terkel 12).
It is a goal of every adult to build personal position independent from the views of the other. As soon as a man manages to do it, he receives self confidence in his life, and what is even more important, freedom. He is able to see more and to think I more global way forgetting about his personal attitudes and feelings:
“My mind was beginnin’ to open up. I was beginnin’ to see what was right and what
was wrong. I don’t want the kids to fight forever” (Terkel 9).
Terkel, S. “Why I Quit the Klan”. Retrieved from: http://college.cengage.com/english/chaffee/thinking_critically/8e/students/additional_activities/p198.pdf