Mr. Methvin, all due respect, I made no such claim. You may have read that into my words, but kindly, you don’t have permission to put words into my mouth. We are each of us unique universes, responding to a vast variety of conditions and what we subject ourselves to. If you read what I said without prejudice, my argument is that genes are not necessarily the be all, end all. And the point that I was making is that genes are not necessarily destiny.

Every single one of us has a genetic inheritance, but if you do your research you will find that there is plenty that indicates that we can influence and shift what we got born with through how we think and how we take care of ourselves (particularly as it relates to polypharmacy). I am not in any way saying that you did or didn’t. I’m not privy to your life story. Nor do I feel “smug,” which is also your personal interpretation of my words. My intent is to inspire all of us, especially as we age, to challenge conventional wisdom and make choices about how we think and whose “truths” we choose to live by. I don’t pretend to know it all. I’m presenting a take. And my experience is hardly unique. Again, if you do your research, and study some of the same books I do, you’ll find plenty of evidence. To wit, Mr. Methvin, The Biology of Belief, by Dr. Bruce H. Lipton and Super Genes, by Dr. Deepak Chopra and Dr. Rudoph E. Tanzi. Just for starters.

Perhaps you’re angry you didn’t get your father’s body. Perhaps you want to blame someone. Perhaps you are neither interested in nor intrigued by these subjects. That’s your sacred right. However if you haven’t done that research that means that your opinion is based solely on your experience with your father and your own body. So, when someone writes a provocative piece you seize on that to be right about how your journey wasn’t so great. I have no clue, Mr. Methvin, I only have your online behavior. That doesn’t invalidate your life experience, sir, but it does mean that out of the untold billions who have and are still walking the earth, yours is just one story. You can only speak for your truth. Your truth is valid for you and you alone. You cannot speak for anyone else anymore than I can, unless I interview that person, for we do not live their lives.

As a professional speaker who does inspirational work, I focus on what’s possible. As prize-winning journalist, I do my research. Your individual story is perfectly valid. But that doesn’t make the research invalid. We all have choices, and that is precisely what the piece speaks to. Genes don’t make us victims. They provide a journey that offers us challenges and opportunities. If we are willing to do the work. If you want to take issue, then kindly take issue with the PhD authors of the books I quote in my various articles. Please attack the universities and researchers who are opening new doors. Kindly please rip apart those people who are challenging what we think we know and offering vast new potentials. Those are the folks who inform and motivate me. I realize I’m a much easier target. However, if you’re threatened by what I write, you are better served by going to my sources. I drink at the pools of what’s possible. I am not invested in being a victim. Kindly, before you read those last few words with prejudice, I am not implying that you are. I am speaking only for myself.

I absolutely support your right to your take, although I decry your need to attempt to take me down a peg simply because your experience doesn’t happen to track with either mine or the research that’s available. Your story and your attachment to that story, are yours and yours alone.

You also have a lot of choices about how you show up on Medium.com. You can choose to politely disagree and offer a difference set of research points (you gave me a version of your life story, not research, and there’s a rather big difference). I am happy to review links and read research and concede points. However both your tone and what seems to be your intention of a written body slam are right unfortunate. I appreciate learning from others and count that as one of the pleasures of writing for Medium. However choosing intentionally inflammatory and condescending language places you squarely in the position of an online troll. To wit https://medium.com/@jhubbel/the-role-of-a-troll-601921367ad6. For the practice of being polite in response to what is effectively a rude bit of input I’m very appreciative. Beyond that, your response didn’t add value to the conversation and most especially didn’t elevate the tone.

Like every one of the so-called “rest of us,” I am also doing the best I can with the genes I got and how I choose to deal with them. To wit: from my father’s side of the family I inherited 54" hips. They are now 34". I busted my ass (pun intended) to get there. My genetic heritage is big fat ugly female arm flaps. I have tight, hard muscle and 12% body fat. I busted my ass to get there. Those are choices. Your inference that I think I’m better or that somehow I’ve got the answer, based on your choice of wording, Mr. Methvin, make you sound far more arrogant than I. My story is replicated hundreds of thousands if not millions of times by others who have decided that genes are more of a suggestion than a destiny. History is made by people like that like the blind man who summitted Everest and lately has been kayaking huge rapids to break doors open for other blind people(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erik_Weihenmayer). Genes made him blind. HE is making history. That’s a choice.

Medium is a forum. Most of us are polite. Most of us are respectful. It is sad that you wrote without considering the impact of your words. Or maybe you don’t care. I do. While I honor your right to disagree because you have had a difference experience, that also does not elect you to be The Great Leader/Mouthpiece of “All of the Rest of Us.” Which, as I wrote in the above post about the Role of the Troll, is the hiding place of the fearful and those who lack moral courage. Again, you speak only for yourself. You didn’t need to be rude about it. You can question, challenge and disagree all without belittling or demeaning. That speaks to character.

I hope you rediscover your online manners. If you didn’t like my piece, you had a choice. You could have shaken your head and Just. Walked. Away. That is what a real man, does, Mr. Methvin. He understands the right of others to not agree with him and he doesn’t feel the compulsion to strike out and attempt to do damage to those he happens to disagree with, and most especially those he will never meet. That’s called emotional maturity. Graciousness. Characteristics we’d all like to see in our fathers, all our male role models.

On this Father’s Day, I hope your offspring and/or those who have had contact with you have better experiences than I did. Your behavior on line in this instance doesn’t define you as a whole person (geez, maybe it’s in your genes?) but it does speak to a part of you that lives in a dark, unpleasant place. We all have that part. I want to believe that the best of us do a better job of muzzling those parts that operate out of ugliness, resentment and arrogance. They are there to teach us not to succumb to them.

Good day to you sir and the best of luck.

Horizon Huntress, prize-winning author, adventure traveler, boundary-pusher, wilder, veteran, aging vibrantly. I own my sh*t. Let’s play!

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