Since the day we are born, we are affected by influences beyond our control; we do not choose which family we are born into, which society we live in, how our parents raise us, what school we first go to, and therefore the people we associate with, or where we live. The family we"re born into decides our skin colour, race and financial status. The society we live in moulds our beliefs of what is "normal", by the events happening around us in that society. By the way our parents raise us we learn many things, such as how to behave "properly", how to treat our children if we have any, how to look after ourselves and how to treat other people. The school we go to primarily decides what level of education we"re able to have, the sort of friends we"ll gain and will give us some understanding of the environment we live in, as will where we live. Any mass media we come into contact with, i.e. T.V, Magazines, books, radio and music will influence the way we see the world outside of our own society and parts of our own society we haven't come into direct contact with. Our friendship groups influence how we relate to other people and how we see ourselves; it can also be argued that the people we associate with mould us, from late teens onwards, as much as our parents do.
If this is true, it's not until we"re old enough or able to make our own decisions that we"re able to start deciding how we behave. When that time comes, there will still be important factors which will affect our decisions, such as how we were raised and the norms of the society we live in. Although we"re able to do as we please, our future decisions will always be based on what we have learnt in the past. For example, our home life will affect how well we do in school, how well we do in school will affect the sort of job we choose to do, our career will decide how much money we make, and thus how and where we live our lives.