Courage begets courage: T/F?

If you listen to enough podcasts and watch enough documentaries and know enough people who majored in the sciences, it dawns on you at some point that we are all just a bunch of chemicals. (Let's leave the question of the soul to the side for this post, k?). I started reading a bunch of books about growing a baby early on in the pregnancy and encountered the fascinating world of Epigenetics. Epigenetics says that influences during the gestation period can change the way that genes manifest themselves in the human who is born into the world.

Around the time we cheered Kelley on during her half-marathon, I thought a lot about what activities in my life give me bursts of good chemicals. Just being around all those runners was giving me ambitious feelings. Remembering running the 10k and overcoming something I'd once thought impossible reminded me of the BRAVE feelings that coursed through my body during the race.
Enjoying our time (and the view!) in Charlottesville, VA. 

And then suddenly I thought: what if I spent my pregnancy doing awesome, brave things? If I was growing a baby while I was having awesome, brave experiences, would the baby grow up to be brave and ambitious as a result of all those chemical jolts received while he/she was growing?

Admittedly, I've been a little distracted and have not been paying close attention to doing awesome, brave things of late. But this is still something I kick around my mind during subway rides.

I'd like to teach a course this summer. I don't much care what the content is, but it's something I laid out for myself during Camp Mighty. I'm going to get on that.

I'd like to sing a song with my brother's band. That's another one I identified at Camp Mighty. I think I can make that happen.

We are what we eat, but we are also what we DO! Our actions not only represent who we are to others, but in the case of growing a baby, our actions might also influence the kind of little person we raise. Kind of interesting to think about.

(Note: Um. I'm not a scientist. I'm mostly talking in metaphor here... so... full disclaimer that I have no idea whether doing brave things results in a brave kid.)


Erica said...

I've never heard of epigenetics before, but Jen, I *know* that your child(ren) will be brave and courageous and do wonderful things. Because you and Chris will teach them how to live that way.

PS - anyone would be lucky to take a class from you. You are so inspiring! If you offer it as an online class, I bet a lot of us who are far away would be interested ...

Steve said...

Abso-freakin-lutely. Orchard Wall is looking for another singer, as well as a tiny person who can keep the beat while kicking (Tiny seems like the ideal candidate).

How about we get you up with the band at Kate's graduation party? Good test run. Then back up with us for real when we're gigging in NY in August.

Uncle Steve