Jul 27, 2011

Questions—but no Answers

Change in life is inevitable. So why is it so hard for people to change? Changing for worse is easy; it happens a lot. I can site extensive examples from personal experiences where people have fallen into holes that they never managed to climb out of—but does just mean that’s who they were “destined” to be to begin with?

Can people ever really fundamentally change? They so often become “set in their ways” and “too old to change”. But at what point does that happen? College, high school, perhaps even younger? Does all of the learning and experience in your formative years set permanently who you are for eternity? How can a person undo years of learning?

I think people can change, because I think it’s too sad to say that they can’t. Maybe the question isn’t "Can people change?" but more of "Do people want to change?" Is change always possible, but limited by personality and character? I think 9 times out of 10, people just flat out don’t want to put the effort in. Self-defeatedness is easy. Transforming yourself is too hard, too scary.

I know I am not the only one whose childhood comes back to haunt them—these are the demons we deal with as adults. But so often, it becomes a crutch, it becomes explanation or even motivation for poorly adjusted behavior. I’m not saying conditioning isn’t valid, it definitely is, and I’ve seen how it can side swipe you when you least expect it. But once you’re aware of it and want to change it—how long would it take to unlearn all of the bad that you’ve been taught and have inherited? Even if after making a concerted effort, is it too easy to fall back into old patterns?

Is an alcoholic ever really not an alcoholic? Is someone who is predisposed to being only able to focus on his or her world ever really a part of anyone else’s? Is someone that was abused ever really out from under those shadows? Can people change?

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