“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
– Leo Tolstoy
Can people really change?
I know, I know. This is a loaded question. But everyone has different theories on this – myself included.
From what I’ve witnessed over my years of existence-
No. Not quite that many, thank you very much.
-I find the answer a little bit of both “Yes” and “No.”
Typical psycho-babble response, of course. Thank you, Dr. Freud.
As mentioned in previous blogs, I am adopted. Therefore, I do believe in Nurture far more than Nature. I am my mother’s and father’s daughter. I have great cooking skills, a probably-a-little-too-generous-to-help-than-is-good-for-me-and-gets-me-into-trouble inkling to help others, and a hot temper from my mother. Sarcasm, dry wit, love of science fiction and superheroes, and tends to laugh at the drop of a pin from my father.
However, I am also my own person and horrible at math, a pretty good singer and can handle a 5-star heat dinner instead of my family who eat mild (maybe medium on a stronger day) than the rest of my family which is very different from my parents.
Have my experiences and life trials affected how I approach the world? Yes.
Is my approach to problem-solving, the way I connect patterns and human behavior, and my hot-temper completely different than when I was a child? Hmm… Probably not.
Over and over again I witness family and friends exhibit the same behavior. Sure, life’s experiences may have slowed down their same initial response to the situation, but that first flare of natural instinct (whatever it is to them), does happen. It takes their brain to squash the initial reaction and switch to what has been proven to work – against their initial natural response.
As all of us do, I have people in my life who make some less-than-great life choices. Every time I think they’ve changed, it comes up again and that inkling of hope that maybe they’ve changed gets blown to bits.
We’re not talking about, “Oh, I wish they didn’t stay at that job,” “Wouldn’t they be happier with someone else in their life?”, or “Why would you want to move there?” types of questions people who are in each others lives ask about when our family/friend picks something that sounds outrageous to us.
No. I’m talking about really bad decisions that endanger their lives and sometimes others. Maybe they picked up drugs or alcohol (or both) again. Maybe they decided to stick with a physically or emotionally (or both) abusive relationship. Not being able to let go of the past that completely incapacitates their ability to function as a human being – Like have the energy to get out of bed laying there for weeks, or leave their house for the first time in a month. I recognize that depression is a cycle and that life is hard. Everyone’s level of depression is different, but it’s still depression.
It’s also tough to help someone who doesn’t want it.
A few years ago after some really tough times in our lives, Pilot and I decided to make changes. This decision was propelled by our tumor scares last year.
Life is so short, and I find it going by faster each year. It’s not a realization – I’ve known that since I was a child. I have a very large case of thanataphobia. Yes, I’m a Christian* and I believe (and hope) through my faith in Him that I end up in heaven after my life ends… But it doesn’t mean I have to like the fact that we’re all in one big waiting room and we’ll all end up somewhere – sometimes by a painful, violent, or (God forbid) hilarious event.
Morbid enough for you? Again, serious thanataphobia and fear of all the many, many ways the end result will happen.
I’ll probably die some violently, hilarious way. Like standing on the sidewalk and nailed by a bus mirror. Or fall off the first rung of ladder. Or hit by a coconut someplace tropical. Felled by a tree. Or slip on the ice and eaten by wild penguins. Or snap my neck on the counter edge while an electric mixer is still whirring! in my hand in the kitchen. Or by a hunter while I’m taking a stroll in unknown forestry. Or the worst nightmare of all…
On the toilet.
Dear God, please. PLEASE! Do not let me die on the toilet!
<grumbles to self> My death is so going to end up on YouTube, I know it.
In a nutshell, I believe people at their basic core functions as a being do not change.
Their approaches to problem solving, how they understand the world, and emotional stability during their most stressed will always stay the same.
That being said, the only time I think a person truly changes is due to a major event that alters the direction of said person’s life.
Read as, found spiritual enlightenment, lost spiritual enlightenment, a traumatic event, etc.
Outside of a major nuclear blast to one’s perspective of the world, I think things stay relatively the same.
What do you think, Precious Readers? Would love to know what you believe on this topic.
*Katherine Bacher’s Philosophy on Christianity:
To clarify, because so much of the population uses the term “Christian” very loosely, figured I should explain. Especially since this is on the oh-so-private-Internet.
I believe in the Holy Trinity (God, Son of God, and the Holy Spirit), that Jesus Christ is our Savior, and in the 10 commandments. I believe that our immortal souls are saved through faith, and faith alone. Yes, works are great – it’s always good to help your fellow man because you want to, not because you have to, but I believe it’s your personal faith in Him that is the core thing.
I believe that Churches are for people, not for God. Church is for people who want Christian fellowship. I have not yet found a church that is 100% welcoming of non-Christians and judgment free of non-Christians. Therefore, I don’t go. It’s a good idea – great reference for answering questions. Great for already-Christians… Non-Christians – Well… that depends on the church.
I will attend a church when one presents itself capable of the above things. Sorry folks, not a churchgoer.
Reading the Bible is good. But again, reading the Bible is about knowledge and education. It helps solidify your faith when you have a question. It’s a great idea and I highly recommended it if you’re confused and/or want to learn more. However, not required.
Faith people. Keep up the Faith.
I also believe that God is a loving God who loves ALL – whether not white, white, male, female, rich, poor, suburbanites, straight, gay, bi, transsexual, transgender, or whatever.
Ok, and I guess even them… the government. Fine! Ok. Even the government.
I’m also a firm believer in not shoving my faith down other people’s throats. God is a God of love and I live by example – not by yelling at people. It’s not my place to judge – that’s God’s role. If we judge “on His behalf” (and I use that phrase VERY LOOSELY) then that is putting us in God’s role. Placing ourselves in God’s role is egotistical, presenting quite a resemblance to dictatorship, and wrong.
Thanks for listening, but I digress. To continue from the footnote, please scroll back up the blog.