Today’s question: Can people change?
I want to believe that people can change, but the cynic in me thinks it happens in one of two ways:
- Pure lip service
- A true change, but one that happens too late to really count
I keep thinking about Leelah Alcorn, and specifically, her family. One day, her parents are going to realize they drove their daughter to suicide. On their death beds, will they regret their actions and words? Will they repent – change – and wish they had accepted Leelah as she was? When Leelah’s brothers and sisters grow up and get out into the world, will they realize what they lost? Will it make them turn against their parents? Has it already started?
What a lot of people consider “change” is really just growth. I don’t think I’ve changed over the last 20 years. I’ve grown, definitely – my experiences have shaped the person I am today. Fundamentally though, I haven’t changed. The parts that make me who I am – both physical and psychological – are the same as it ever was. Yes, everything I do today is flavoured by my yesterday, but I don’t think I’ve really changed.
True change is possible, but it takes a special sort of person to see past their conditioning and actively embrace change. Those that need it most are often the last to catch up, if ever. Then again, maybe change and growth are more similar than I give them credit for. My only true point of reference is my own life, which isn’t a terribly broad sample size.