Nature Or Nurture?

A question came up during a discussion about the issue of adoption. My dear friend was adopted and sought his roots. I have no problem with seeking out one’s original parents and family. I told him that I believe blood is not an essential part of who a person is and becomes.

I firmly believe we are who we are primarily because of relationships, beginning with those who have adopted the child. They make the child what they will become, not their blood parents.

From my hands-on experience, I know that my influence as a psychologist, teacher, and camp director was (and is) considerable. As an old guy, I am blessed to be visited by people who were children at my camp in the 50s and 60s. Staff members and even the professionals and entrepreneurs I worked with for the past 35-plus years still visit.

I am told of my influence on them, and I am fully aware and grateful for their influence on me. I became a better mentor and grew as a person because of the trust and closeness we had between so many of us. And what of the benefits to their staff and family? That was the reason I was invited to be part of their lives.

Without question, I know the experience and power certain relationships have on their participants. It makes or breaks them. Nowhere in this is blood involved.

The love and time we give to those we live and work with is all about our power to empower. As a leader, the good and the bad come out. Nothing is hidden, and all is influenced.


Author: Sy Ogulnick

Sy Ogulnick received a BA from UCLA, Teacher’s Credential from Los Angeles Board of Education and completed phase I (Master’s portion) in a Doctor of Behavioral Science program at California Coast University. Sy leased and operated a summer day camp in LA. He and his wife then purchased virgin wilderness land in Northern CA, where they built and operated a coed summer camp. They moved to Las Vegas, NV, and purchased, built and operated a community children’s program for families staying in a major resort casino in Las Vegas. They have created programs for children nationwide that employed many people and in the process developed successful training programs for personnel. This led Sy to lecture on how to train staff and the creating of community within the workplace. Sy was then invited to speak at professional conferences on how best to hire and train employees, which led to his becoming a consultant in the art of improving relationships in a work environment and eventually to his epiphany that “Leaders are the primary problem and the answer to the personnel issues that arise in the workplace.” Sy has written numerous papers on the subject of interpersonal relationships, leadership and power. He has lectured throughout the United States, has been interviewed by the media and has appeared on many radio and TV talk shows

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