Is Geography Destiny

I am reading a great book called Cutting For Stone in which the main character asserts that geography is destiny, that is that where you are born dictates the course of your life. It is an idea that has stayed with me since I read it. For the most part I agree. Being born in the United States, I had a lot of opportunities that I might not have had. I had access to a high quality, free education. I had good health care. I had a safe, ample food supply. I had indoor plumbing. Simply by being born when I was, I was able to grow into a healthy adult with minimal effort. But the struggle of simply growing up in more challenging environments is what makes some people into better, stronger people. Would the African runners be as successful if they were raised eating Cheetos and playing video games?

It is true on a smaller scale as well. I have a deep love for the Maine coast that comes from being raised there. I love the cold water and the wind, I love the snow, and I love solitude because this is what I was raised with. I love to travel, but in the end I want to return to Maine. It's a mixed blessing to have a place that you love so passionately. I feel lucky to have a place where I feel so content, as long as this doesn't come at the expense of limiting opportunities.


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