03 November 2011 ~ 0 Comments

Does where you live shape who you become?

Do we live in a certain place because we are a certain kind of person, or do we become a certain kind of person because of where we live. This is one of those chicken and egg type questions that it’s fun to debate.

But somewhere in the circular arguments we can tease out some truths. The degree to which we are affected by our environment depends greatly on our age. A child growing up in the centre of Toronto or Ottawa will probably always feel comfortable in big cities, whereas a country kid may never feel perfectly happy in a fast-paced urban environment. Of course human beings are very variable and this may not apply to everyone.

As adults, we bring our own well-formed personalities to the places where we live but that doesn’t mean that we can’t be changed by circumstances. An upwardly mobile family moving from a less affluent part of Greater Toronto to a posh neighbourhood in Oakville may start to behave differently after the move. Without even realising it, they may be influenced in their purchases by what the Oakville neighbours are buying. They may feel under pressure to change the type of car they drive or get the urge to decorate their home in a way that is more in keeping with their new community.

Children are also important agents in driving purchasing and style changes. They come under peer pressure to dress in a certain way or have a certain type of watch, sports kit, mobile, iPod, laptop or other up-to-the-minute device. However hard they try, parents find this type of pressure hard to resist!

If you move to a new neighbourhood, you can take advantage of the possibilities it offers for new hobbies and interests. If you shift from the centre of Toronto or Ottawa to the leafy suburbs, you may have a proper garden for the first time and develop a passion for growing your own vegetables. You might decide to get a dog because there is more space for it to run around and more good places for walks. On the other hand, if you move from the outskirts to the centre of Ottawa or Toronto you may start going to more concerts, theatres or other cultural events because there is more on offer.

Are we shaped by the places where we live? Because of the tendency of human beings to conform the answer is probably yes!


Image By: karen.tkr

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