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Genetically transmitted ridiculousness

Published on 03/20/2013 by Paul Conway

In a moment of rare intimacy (Ok she’s English) my mum told me the other day that my dad used to send her love letters with little comic cartoon drawings in the side panel of the letter. Sounds sweet. I realised that whenever I write a birthday card, a Get Well Soon card or a note of any sort … don’t forget to buy the cat food on the way home … I find that I have a genetic impulse to add a small cartoon drawing. Now my dad died many years ago and I never saw his love letters but somehow I picked up a biologically transmitted habit of drawing cartons on notes and cards. 

Next time I find myself doing something which is a typical habit of mine (sneezing out loud while driving, breaking up toothpicks at the end of a meal so that I have a little pile of wooden debris, snapping the lid of a pen in a work meeting … you found yours yet?) I should take a moment to think where it came from. Maybe it is genetically transmitted and like a Greek tragedy I will never be able to escape my genetic programming even if I go to great lengths to do so.

No new thinking from me here. The transmittance of habits and feelings from one generation to another is already written about … in Aie, Mes Aieux! by Anne Ancelin Scutzenberger for example.

Anyway what good may come of being aware of your habits? Well, consider UK politician Chris Huhne is going to prison for apparently forcing his wife to take speeding points on her license when it was Chris himself who was at the wheel of the speeding car (by the way, his wife is going to prison too). Maybe his genetic make-up forced him to use such devious behaviour.

I can picture his case put to the High Court Judge.. ‘My client is completely innocent M’Lord as his behaviour is dictated by the ancestral DNA presence of his Great Uncle Desmond who was a deceiving scoundrel … blah ... blah …’

I can see that working, can’t you?

Paul Conway

Paul Conway

Leadership Faculty

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