“No varnish can hide the grain of the wood; and that the more varnish you put on, the more the grain will express itself.” ― Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

Or you can also say: put lipstick on a pig, put rouge on the corpse, making a purse out of a swine’s ear, putting a racing stripe on a … am I allowed to say it here? Probably not. Better leave it at that.

I think basically what Dickens wanted to say is: you can’t hide someone’s true nature. And I believe him. One’s genetic makeup is very hard to alter. Sure, surroundings, upbringing, experience and all those things could have an effect on someone’s innate nature but only on the surface, it cannot change what lies beneath. One’s inner essential nature will always come through sooner or later.

I’m not saying someone can be born a saint or evil and who can say what makes those people act a certain way. A basically good person can commit a grave offense out of desperation, necessity, passion, anger or whatever valid for that moment reason she or he might have but it doesn’t make them a bad human being automatically. You can almost see the genetic makeup of a person by his actions, the nature of their crimes, and how they react to a certain situation. Unplanned circumstances always provoke spontaneous reactions. And that’s when you can see how people truly are, by the way they handle crisis and surprises.

I remember breaking up with someone after accidentally observing his behavior towards others. It was a simple occurrence. We were aboard a public vehicle and the driver stopped to let an elderly passenger in. The person had a difficulty ascending the steps and my then boyfriend was sitting by the door. He could have easily extended his hand and help but he never did nor offered his seat to that person who was clearly having troubles to remain standing during that treacherous ride because of his advanced age. In the end, I gave up my place so the person could sit.

What happened was a revelation to me. My boyfriend was a gentleman. Caring, solicitous, respectful and sweet. To me he was. But to others, he could not care less. And that is something I cannot possibly accept. God knows what he gonna do later in the relationship when the cloak and dagger aspect of courtship is over. I decided I’ve seen enough and dropped him just like that. I believe I made the right decision.

What about you? Do you think I made the right decision?

I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject of genetic makeup in general if you care to impart your knowledge. Nothing too fancy or complicated, just your own truth and beliefs. It is always nice to hear other people’s input. I have learned so much that way.


8 thoughts on “Varnish”

  1. I think you were very perceptive and probably saved yourself a lot of misery! Well done! As regards nature (genetic make-up) v nurture (love & care/neglect & abuse) well, my personal feelings would veer towards the power of positive or sadly, negative experiences in the home/community to shape our personality. Great post and image!


    1. My son and I have frequent discussions about nature v nurture thing and though we have some disagreements we also touch common grounds. I of all people should know the power of experience, positive or negative. I’ve been there done that. Perhaps my saving grace is not all of what happened to me ( though some of them made me cynical) damage my core. Thank you for your wisdom. Much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are obviously a very resillient and capable person to have come through challenging times. Your relationship with your son is to be admired! Nice sharing thoughts with you! Much appreciated also!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes! When someone shows you their true colors, believe them the first time. That is not to say that people don’t make mistakes, but if it is where you feel you are compromising your integrity by their behavior, then yeah. You made the right decision.


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