Everything we do; we’ve learned. Someone else either showed up how or we picked it up accidentally from listening or watching or experiencing along the way.
Our family was probably our first influence to knowledge. Our mom and dad (either together or separately) had to cover the basics of life. How to poop in a bowl or choose the correct utensil or sleep when we get cranky and wake up with the sun were all taught by our family first.
Then there were the secondary teachings no one documents. How mom and dad interact and their mannerisms and accents and vocal expressions mold our future society encounters. Even siblings form our small world and for better or worse are our closest friends. Brothers and sisters are not adults. The interplay of these people during our formative years teach us how to react to conflict, holidays, discipline, affection, conformity, values and even faith.
Cousins are our second teachers. They are still part of a family name but were raised by different adults in other locations. Cousins expand our society and whether we like them or not, we must accept them and their new ideas and ways.
Once of an age where we can dress ourselves the adults send us to formal education. In another building a group of kids that are the same age are assigned to sit at desk and follow a process of instruction and testing to accomplish a pre-determined curriculum. Basic skills of reading, writing, and math are repeatedly drummed into a classroom until we responded with the correct answer. Grades were given for parents to review how smart their kids were. For the first time, more than our behavior at home was judging us.
As we grew up and continued the routine of going to school in the fall and lasting through the winter only for a break in the summer, we followed more complicated instructions building upon what we should have learned in an early grade. We, mere children, were being asked to use our learned data and actually think.
Outside influences were also seeping into our knowledge base. Radio, television, new friends, books, magazines, and ultimately hormones were changing our views, ideas and shoe sizes. We started to focus on certain cultural, scientific, historical, artistic and even religionist thoughts that could become a future career. Chemistry might have been interesting but biology was much more curious in the backseat of a car.
University offered us the ideas of philosophy, sociality, psychology, and all the other ‘ologys that expanded our thought process, yet we were already biased by years of previous learning repetition filtering our conclusions. Unlike children who have no power to act on their thoughts, we have the aforementioned knowledge and now the age to make our own decisions. We can vote and find gainful employment and promote our skills and purchase expensive items and even decide or agree to live with another.
Unfortunately we never get taught how to raise a family or pay late charges or tolerate unpleasant neighbors or traffic jams or disinterested bosses or uncaring wives or naughty children….
Yet the question is ‘Who the hell taught you that?’
All those bad habits we have learned over the years along with algebra, strategic initiatives and quantum physics are part of our personality. A potty mouth could be associated to a cousin or a co-worker who didn’t have a complete understanding of the Queen’s English. Raising your leg when you fart could be an initiation to a team tradition or observed and copied from an adult. Even the worst or best meal may give us digestion discomfort but do we belch and laugh? Kids will flick boogers and enjoy the action until punished for bad behavior, but the lesson has already been learned.
The next cold or flu or just sinus infection may cause mucus to flow and we revert to our baby habits. Pick you nose with pride. Someone taught you that.