I have always had to deal with adversity for my entire life, as most people probably do to some extent, at least from the age of three which is the earliest moments in my life that I have any memories of. The three memories I have that I know are from when I was three are because my father died when I was three months short of turning three and all three of the earliest memories I have were either were before he died or when he died, because we moved from the place I have the memories from after he died. These three distinct memories are: 1. I remember sitting on the floor in front of a blackboard drawing apples on it with my father, I remember being impressed that the blackboard had pictures of fruit already drawn on it when my father helped me draw on it. 2. My father was an airplane mechanic and we lived in a trailer at the small airport that my father worked at and I remember running from my trailer to the one that was also on the property with my girlfriend that lived there with our little Pomeranian dog chasing us. After my father was killed in a plane crash at the airport we moved and since he died three months before I turned three that pretty much sets the age of this memory in stone. 3. I remember being very unhappy, I was in the trailer we lived in at the airport, because my mother left me with a baby sitter and she was dressed in black and a big black car picked her up and took her away and everyone was very unhappy. I assume that was to take her to my father’s funeral. After my father died my mother took the settlement money that she was paid by the company that made the airplane that my father died in because the mechanical specifications were faulty that they provided him with to repair the plane and those faulty specifications resulted in the plane crashing and my father’s death. I was told, I don’t have any actual proof of this, that my father’s death (the factory specs had the flaps hooked up backwards so when he positioned them for the plane to go up they did the exact opposite and the plane flipped over down instead of going up on the end of the runway and crushed the cockpit and my father on what should have been take off) is the reason pilots now stop at the entrance to the runway and check to see If the flaps, ailerons, etc. are all going the directions they are supposed to before the plane goes down the runway to take off. I don’t know if it is fair or not that my father died when I was not quite three and my sister was three months from being born but the three years he was in my life I doubt made any difference in my destiny or my sister’s. I do know it was unfair that I was born with a 100 % inherited disease with a 50 % chance a child you have if you have this disease in a totally unreasonable set of odds and that is unfair to the innocent child. The fact that my mother remarried in a little over a year to the stepfather that eventually sexually molested me and my sister I have to believe was a way bigger influence in our lives than our “real” father dying when we were too young to know him and that was unfair. The biggest influence in our lives was our mother and as I grew older I began to realize how “screwed up” she was and that her problems unfortunately became her children’s problems and that was also unfair but most likely out of our “screwed up” mother’s control, it was avoidable but I don’t think she did it on purpose. It is hard to know what issues in life are necessarily a direct result of what events and circumstances that are a part of a child’s life when they are growing up and what issues would have been there anyway. I do believe there are things that are affected by how you are raised and I also believe there are a great many things that are things that influence the person you will become that are preordained characteristics you inherit and shape the person you will become no matter who raises you and how they raise you. In support of my believing certain things are inherent to the individual and not learned is the short experience I had in my breeding a few Bengal cats and raising kittens that had no contact with their father, and only eight weeks of contact with their mother, grow up to have more than could possibly be coincidental characteristics of one of their parent’s and the only third generation litter I bred I kept a kitten from it that grew up to have the same looks and personality of her grandmother, and I won’t bore you by telling you all the things they had in common but suffice it to say that kitten was her grandmother reincarnated and she never ever met her grandmother besides the fact she looked just like her grandmother and her neither of her parent’s looked anything like her. So this might not be enough to convince you that a lot of who you are is a product of genetics that “no one” has control over but it is a part of what makes me believe that. This also goes along with my belief that believing in the zodiac signs also are proof of my belief that a lot of who we are is absolutely in your own personal recipe that was used to create you and once the ingredients were mixed the cake was made and you can’t change how it tastes when it comes out of the oven. I am an “Aries” and when I read all of the descriptions for the different “signs” it is the only one that fits me. What I find useful about knowing which of the characteristics I have seem to be from my being an “Aries” is that I can read about the behaviors and values that are from being that sign and try to temper the behaviors that are caused by being this sign to use the best traits of this sign and yet not be too much of an “Aries” at times when the behavior I have that is caused by my being an “Aries” is not particularly socially acceptable. By not necessarily being all the Aries I can be, they tend to come on like “gangbusters” sometimes and many times I can see that it is just about what I am going to do and I stop myself before I offend or hurt someone. Honesty is always the best personal policy but discretion can be the better part of valor, and this is a behavior that Aries have to work on and frequently screw up at. I believe we are equal parts of family blood line genetics, immediate parent’s genetics, the universe and what we learn from whoever raises us and influences the most when we are young. This does explain why members of the same family can be so different, because there is way to know which traits a child will draw out of the available gene pool at conception, add to that the recessive traits that come forward with each draw from the available gene pool, then add the magnetic pull of the universe based on where all the stars and planets are aligned when you are born to what you learn from those who raise you and that gives the questions of “what made any one of us the way we are” a whole heck of a lot of factors that are beyond anyone’s control. If those factors align negatively they we are pretty screwed from the beginning, and vice versa if all those things aligned positively then you hit the “lottery”. Maybe when you get right down to it may be a lot of life is like the lottery. Whoever wins it isn’t based on fair, right or wrong. It is what is called “luck of the draw” and the concept of “fair” doesn’t apply. It is just the nature of the universe but I am not saying that once the draw has been made and your formula has been “cooked” that you can’t make any changes to the end product. You can change the frosting or the “layer” in the middle or even what is underneath it, but you always have to work with the “cake” that came out of the oven. Fair was never a factor so to succeed in life it helps if you don’t let it ever be a factor. Be all you can be and ignore what you can’t be but always strive to be “your” best!