This is a question that would be hard for me, I think. We are all a product of our life experiences, and now after 70 years, I've come to a place that I like. There were times that were difficult, sometimes extremely so, but I survived and those bad experience were some of the most valuable teaching sources I've ever had. I guess the main question in my mind now would be if I changed something back there then, what would I NOT have now?
Even in 1940 (when I was born), I was fourth generation, so yes, I was "born in". My first time card was in December, 1946, so I was raised with it.
But I feel that I had one advantage over most people, though. We lived way out in the country and I was the oldest. The Oregon wilderness was our playground with all its myriad hazards, and we'd disappear into it all day, sometimes going miles inside, climbing mountains, swimming in the river, and doing things that kids nowadays would never be allowed to do. This started when I was 10, so for a 10 year-old to do this and keep his little brothers of 5 and 6 alive and in one piece gave me a whole different outlook on life than most people.
One thing alone makes all the difference in the world. Fear. I didn't have that luxury, because if I didn't face whatever the dangerous reality was and do the right thing, my brothers would probably be dead by the time I brought help.
After a while danger and fear weren't factors in my life, but were considered normal. There were three main results: I went where I wanted, when I wanted, and how I wanted, danger be damned. Others considered me reckless, etc., but I have never had a severe accident where I had to be hospitalized, so I must have been doing something right. My brothers were never hurt when with me, but thinking back now, it's a wonder we weren't all killed.
The second thing was that I viewed authority of any kind as perhaps a necessary evil, but one that should be kept a close eye on. That includes the Organization, so I probably don't need to explain how grateful I am for that.
But perhaps the greatest benefit is that I learned at a young age both to think and make decisions for myself. I happily take input from anyone, but I make the decision as to what makes sense and what doesn't. This one factor alone saved me a huge amount of heartache and confusion in coming years.
Of course, you can just imagine how much the elders hated it! Har, har!