Environment: The Mould of One’s Destiny


Man is universally accepted as a creature of superior intelligence. Men have the ability to think logically and rationally using insight and reason, something that most other animals are seemingly inefficient at. Science has long attempted to discover the true cause of this superiority.

Environmental factors play a major role in the development of all human characteristics, be it in health or disease. An individual’s basic health and mental makeup is shaped early in his life. Doesn’t the environment in which each being grows leave a considerable impact on them? Aren’t crowding, regimented life, environmental pollution, and disturbances of the fundamental biological rhythms, aspects of life, common to all urbanized societies, may they be rich or poor? Who doesn’t worry about the future of their children who will be forced to grow up under absurd social and environmental conditions that the present generation is guilty of creating? Why are the physical and mental characteristics of man being shaped by dirty skies and cluttered streets, anonymous high rises and amorphous urban sprawl and social attitudes that are more concerned with things than men?

In today’s world the true test of our character is when we are faced with situations and ideas different and diverse from what we may have anticipated. During such times intelligence can be put to wrong use. Ideals can be compromised upon and we can choose the easiest way out and follow the crowd. But, such opportunities also give us a chance to expand our horizons. They enable us to learn to accept that there are ideas, which are superior and different from our own. At such times the environment which has shaped us, becomes a mirror, which reflects the true meaning of our life.

The characteristics of the environment are of utmost importance. They affect the quality of present day life and also the development of young people and thereby the society as a whole, the reason being that environmental factors have the most lasting effects when they impose on the young organism during the early stages of its development.

Thus, may the child be of parents with a high mental aptitude or a child with parents with medium to mediocre intelligence levels, both are likely to display good cerebral skills if brought up in the correct environment with equal opportunities to develop their intelligence and realize their caliber. The environment thus, plays a key role in enabling people to manifest their potentialities.

This vital power of the environment to change and affect man has largely been overlooked in the past. But an awareness of its importance is slowly polarizing the thinking of men. If we are to give anything to our future we have to start acting now.

Uttara Balakrishnan