Twins separated at birth and reunited 30-years later. Being raised to eat everything on your plate. Gender neutral upbringing. The conversations surrounding Nature Vs. Nurture bounced from one to the next, and by the end of the night, everyone felt like they had been in a timewarp. In short, Filament’s November mindshine was a charming, open experience, and we’d like to share a few highlights of from the night…
Tiffany Herrera, a cherished fixture of the mindshine team, kicked-off the theme of Nature Vs. Nurture with the burning question: Does it have to be one or the other? Isn’t it both nature and nurture that influence our lives?
Tiffany also reflected on how nurture seemed to have little to do with the similarities between herself and siblings. “My brother, 10-years older, and sister, 15-years younger – we never grew up in the house at the same time – and yet, we have the same love of everything. Dance. Music. Politics.”
On the contrary to Tiffany, Jane Pankowski-Stein, Account Manager for Milwaukee Magazine, spoke about the differences in siblings, despite being raised under the same roof. “Is it birth order? Is it environmental? Is it genetics? I see and know of so many who are raised with the same love and guidance, and still there are such differences.” Amongst her many insights throughout the night, Jane also posed a question that sparked great interest: “Do you agree or disagree that people could be inherently broken?”
Katy Corey, Filament’s Director of Collaboration, agreed with Jane’s question. She then shared her internal conflict of feeling compassionate towards bad human beings, like sociopaths, murderers, and Bill Cosby. “If people can be inherently bad, then, to me, that means no ounce of nurturing could reshape how this person lives out their life. Nurture wouldn’t change the outcome.”
Lisa Jacobson, a woman with years of experience working in child protective services and juvenille probation, talked about the tough reality of youth growing up without a nurturing family and/or environment. Knowing she is only a small part of their lives, she is committed to being a warm, compassionate light. “There are those kids who, despite everything against them, make it.”
As a Nutrition Director for the Wisconsin Athletic Club, Kim Flannery expressed her fascination with how nurture interacts with nature when it comes to things like food cravings, addiction, mental health, and heart disease. “There is a trigger from the environment that turns a specific gene, causing disease. While lifestyle is huge, science hasn’t yet figured out what those external things are, so we can’t live out of fear.”
Kelly Andrew, Filament’s Owner and Chief Ideas Officer, hosted the group in her Enderis Park Cape Cod home, and she wanted to know: “How much does society affect nurture? Upbringing extends beyond family. It is community. It is proximity to media. How different is Nature Vs. Nurture today than it was in the 80’s?”
In closing, we extend our gratitude to the inspiring, interesting women who have taken time to dine, drink, and mindshine. You are remarkable human beings.