Day 317: Socio Economic Genetic Modification

Science now shows that poverty actually has a consequential effect on your very DNA, and that these effects can be passed on to children. Read the following excerpt from an article by Ian Johnston of the Independent:

“Living in poverty can cause changes to people’s DNA that make them more likely to become depressed, anxious and possibly take drugs, according to a ground-breaking new study.
Researchers in the United States found that teenagers from deprived backgrounds tended to undergo changes to a gene that increases the activity of a part of the brain involved in the ‘fight or flight’ response and panic attacks. This increased activity in the amygdala has been linked to a greater risk of depression. 
They also found that a low socio-economic status was associated with low levels of serotonin, sometimes referred to as the happiness hormone. 
In recent years, studies have shown that not only can genes be changed by the environment and even social interactions, but these ‘epigenetic’ changes can then be passed on to the next generation.”
Being poor can change your genes and increase your chances of depression

What these findings demonstrate is how our socio-economic status / environment actually plays quite a significant role in Genetically Engineering us as a Human Being.

Sure we’ve all heard success stories about people who were able to transcend their poor upbringing to become millionaires – but the reality is that those individuals represent a tiny fraction of those living in poverty.

We all know people in our own lives and worlds who, even in spite of living in an environment of financial security and plenty of support, still tend towards depression, self defeat, social anxiety, fear of failure, etc. And look how much effort it takes to stand up from within such experiences and learn to assist and support yourself to change those patterns and develop yourself and take responsibility for your life.

Imagine being in a situation where everyone around you comes from generations of poverty – your parents, your neighbors, your friends. Imagine being in a situation where you grow up in an environment of every day interacting with drug users, crime, alcoholism. Imagine being in a situation where you are growing up in a state of physical stress because you’re not getting enough to eat. Imagine growing up without an effective education, with a personality and thought process and self definition shaped by gang culture, drug culture, poverty culture. Imagine you are a person who naturally tends toward self judgment, depression, addiction. Imagine how much more difficult it would be to stand up from such experiences living in poverty surrounded by poverty, with your very DNA having been influenced to become more susceptible to depression, anxiety, and addiction.

I mean, I myself grew up in a financially secure environment, with a loving, supportive family and access to good schools, and plenty of opportunity to develop skills and abilities and career paths. However, I was a very emotional child and ended up taking every experience of failure and difficulty in school and social situations to heart, and ended up with a personality driven by fear of failure and extensive self judgments and insecurities and a tendency toward depression. It’s taken me YEARS of writing, self forgiveness, and self corrective application to get to a point where I’m only now at age 32 at a stage where I’ve developed the skills, self esteem and personal drive to be able to make use of the opportunities in my life.

Look how much effort those of us living in a more stable, financially secure situation put into learning methods of nutrition, education, parenting – in order to enhance and support the development of our children? Why do we do this? Because we understand the common sense that we are in large part actually engineering a Human Being, and that it is a very delicate, specific process not to be taken lightly. And even with all of that — there are still many people like me, coming from very positive childhood environments, who still end up developing emotional / mental patterns that are difficult to change.

If we as Man are ever to truly become the Shepherds of the Earth, we’ll need to get over the idea / fear of ‘playing god’, and take responsibility for the aspect of Humanity that is engineered by environmental factors, and change those factors to factor in what is best for each individual and thus create a world that is best for everyone.

“Social Engineering Must have the outcome that is best for all life where every child born is guaranteed a Life of Worth. Life is the Only Real Value on Earth!” 

~Bernard Poolman

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