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Today's advice is particularly good for anyone in life.

During my walk today I saw a spider that was building its web and I thought it was so beautiful the way it systematically went around and around to make the web perfectly. 

However, I thought deeper and I found it fascinating regarding how each spider knows how to build its web. Spiders don’t teach one another. It’s called instinct or innate behavior. 

Then I thought, what instincts are we born with and what do we need to learn? Spiders, indeed, are born with the instinct to build webs, a skill essential for their survival, and they don’t need to be taught how to do it. This is a clear example of an innate behavior, which is hardwired into an organism’s biology. 

Humans, on the other hand, are a bit more complex. We are born with certain instincts, but much of what we know and do is learned through experience and education. 

For instance, a newborn baby has reflexes and instincts like sucking, which are crucial for feeding and survival. However, most of our skills, such as language, social interaction, and complex problem-solving, are acquired. 


Our learning starts from the moment we are born. We observe, imitate, and are taught by others around us. This is where the concept of nature (what we are born with) versus nurture (what we learn from our environment) comes into play. While our genetic makeup provides a blueprint, our experiences and environment shape us significantly. 


As we grow, we also learn behaviors and norms that are specific to our culture or social group. These learned behaviors can sometimes be limiting or negative. The process of unlearning involves recognizing these behaviors and actively working to change them. This could be as simple as changing a daily habit or as complex as altering deeply ingrained beliefs. 

Evaluating these learned behaviors and asking, “Does this belief or habit still serve me?”, and having the courage to eliminate even long-cherished beliefs is difficult, sometimes they even seem insurmountable.  

Relearning, then, is about adopting new, more positive or useful behaviors and thought patterns. This is not always easy, as it often requires stepping out of our comfort zones and challenging our preconceptions.

However, it’s a powerful way to grow and evolve as individuals. 


Thus, we may not be born with the knowledge to build intricate webs like spiders, humans have a remarkable capacity to learn, unlearn, and relearn throughout our lives. We can choose at any time to change our lives and go in an entirely different direction, something that we, as humans, are blessed to have bestowed on us. 

As Transgender individuals, we know this all to well. We’ve reevaluated our lives, and our experiences, and decided that where we were going no longer serves us. We then made the change.



 This adaptability is perhaps one of our most incredible instincts. 


2 Responses

  1. Gwen,
    The ” Nurture / Nature ” debate can be a hot potato at times .

    Either gender is born with natural instincts , in that repect men and women are differnt because nature intended it that way .Society then shapes those natural instincts , you are a boy so you will behave in ways expected of you , I sometimes feel girls have it slightly easier but then that depends on the ethnic background . In certain parts of the World I wouldn’t want to be female , which in the 21st century is sad to say .
    From the male perspective I call the expected behaviour like wearing a male straightjacket , certainly from my geneartuin we lived in a more rigid male structure .
    The problem with this situation is it takes no account of the intervention of nature , in the nine months we spend inside our mothers womb a very complex being is forming , all manner of variations happen , (I wonder what percentage of babies are born perfect in every detail ) . It’s often overlooked that both male and female can be transgender , in simple terms physical development didn’t coincide with brain development in the womb . From birth it’s hard to say when the transgender issue surfaces , I personally feel mine occured at the age of 8-9 when my T kicked in early , the battle between male and female started at that point . Some say the feeling of wanting to be female started much earlier than that and at the other end of the spectrum are the late starters , it must feel very odd to live much of your life as a man and suddenly there’s an overwhelming need to be female .

    I’ve no doubt being transgender is nature not nurter , I also believe it’s for life because it’s an integral part of our being , it’s not something we can drop like a hat which is often what wives and family hope for . I’m not convinced we should be lumped in with the LGBTQ community , we should stand alone but then I realise it’s a very secretive issue for many people . In some respects being included within the group does make sense because we have to live some of our lives in secret , sadly we have to lie to people we may love dearly because we live in fear of being islolated , so the cummunity can offer support to each other .

    The problem is nature or nurture doesn’t provide solutions to complex social issues and pressures we have to deal with , finding the mental strength isn’t easy , being a complex human has it’s downside . Feeling good about yourself is hard when those close to you are against your beliefs and needs , we know we may have to make sacrifices to be true to ourselves .

  2. I’m 75. As a child I knew I was different and couldn’t tell anyone. I first went out enfemme when I was 29 or 30. Meeting others like myself changed my life. I struggled with my feelings for a long time . I saw a psychologist, who gave me a lot of insight of who I am. Balance then became the keyword in my life .

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