It is in the nature of us all, that when we are faced with an uncomfortable or seemingly outrageous theory/concept, we will either ridicule the concept or be dismissive of its implications, especially when the inferences are personal.

The very idea that a trauma experienced by someone so long ago, someone we hardly knew or maybe have never met, can profoundly affect one’s responses to life’s trials seems contrary to the precepts we were taught at school, ‘nature vs nurture’ – the twin regents of behavioural science.

The phenomenon is called epigenetics (above the genetic code but influencing its expression).

Many of us react to certain conditions, in a way that sometime perplexes. I have asked myself at times, why did I say that? or why did I get upset or angry? when faced with difficult moments. The answer often lies, not within our DNA (the hardwired genetic code), but rather in how our DNA is permitted to express itself, allowed to transfer the unadulterated code that would ideally determine the pristine growth and behaviour of our organism.

It’s worth reading for example:

“Tales of adversity: Genetic studies of people conceived during famine reveals that prenatal malnutrition lingers long after the event.”

This is one example of how the traumas of past generations can influence how you now conduct your life.

My book the Veiled Thread (see is the first instalment in trilogy of fictional stories, tales of men and women caught in the epigenetic web, and one man’s attempts to unravel the effects of the deep-seated trauma of war.