That's a very good question, and one which I have spent numerous hours pondering. On the one hand, I believe that it is obvious that people change. I mean, look at how different you are now compared to years ago. And it's unquestionable that we are altered by our experiences. Not only that, but different people bring out different parts of your personality, so you can change in minutes from extroverted and confident to introverted and insecure (for example.)On the other hand, I think people don't fundamentally change. Meaning that who you are is it. Accept and embrace it.
Eve and I were talking about this just the other day. I do think people can change. But when I think about how I have changed, it does require conscious effort. I work to maintain the changes I see in myself and that evaluate as positive. Every now and then my ugly past self comes back to haunt me in neurotic and self-conscious ways. But I don't want to be that person any more, so it's worth it to me to self-monitor like that. Like I said to Eve, I don't think these things will ever come naturally to me. But maybe, they will...and maybe that will be true change.
I think the capacity to change is like the capacity to think: it varies from person to person, but it is there to varying degrees. And within that context there are so many variables - conciousness, will / motivation, resources etc., Ultimately though, the Law of Inertia rules: we don't change (fundamentally) unless something makes us change - and that something almost always relates directly to reducing discomfort or pain...So much to say on this topic...it is a good one :)
me: the sequel - interesting. I had never thought about it that way, but I think you're right.One thing I do know about it: you can't force someone to change. Lest you forget about the power of stubbornness.
I think I'm with Me: - but i'm not sure it's always pain/discomfort that causes change. I've found that it's all about timing. Things I've tried to change in my life for years suddenly become effortless with the slightest change of scenery or situation. I definitely second Eve on not being able to make someone else change. They might change for you (or to be with you, or make you happy etc.) - but it's because they make the choice to do so, not because you tell them to.
change can often be painful in itself though, and hard to determine as having immediate positive values when in situ. so avoiding discomfort, while I'd agree with Me: is likely an overall objective of change, might be erroneously confused as bad and thus mistakenly avoided, no?for changing the other could the old 'means to the ends' catchphrase be invoked?
No question change is painful. But it is the difficult things that make us grow.You can't change the other. They have to do it/want to do it on their own. And who is to say that if the other changes, that the interaction will stay the same? Or that they will change in the intended way? Or that you will still feel the same way about them? With all of the possibilities that exist for the future (practically endless), the one that you are looking to create is almost impossible.
A labmate asked me today, in a thick Czech accent: "So, are you going to change?". I looked at her confusedly, thinking that she'd just casually and disapprovingly exploded into my existential privacy as per the topic of this post, and so I responded: "whum...?" Petra: "You're still wearing your tighties" (refering to my bicycle pants...I think).
I read something interesting the other day that said, we all change all the time, for other people. I think there is a certain degree of truth to be found in that. Everyone who enters our lives in some sort of significant capacity, does alter us in some way.However, this does not, in any way, detract from the ability of women and men the world over, upon exiting their last disastrous relationship, to declare with utter conviction,'bah! they will never change!'
but growth is seen retrospectively.. is it down to personal agency and informed decision to pursue something that might cause temporary discomfort but have lasting benefits? and how can we become unstuck in time -our constant state of Now- long enough to see the opportunity for growth?assuming you don't want to affront the other's autonomy, how can one facilitate the choices the other could make to assist them in finding positive change? or to help them confront what they are either reluctant or unable to change? is to 'change' someone otherwise arrogant and an effort in objectification?jordan - did you change? next position: spandex shorts in confined spaces.. thoughts? theories? concerns?h - did you take that to mean that the personality is fluid or the self? without other people (assuming they're assigned ethical value in the first place) can there be reason or even ability to change? eg. can someone change in a desert island scenario? which loops back to eve and MI, what involvement DO we have in evoking change in the other?
i was shooting some puppets earlier today when i noted some in house philosophy that had been graffitically shared: ACCEPT CONSTANT CHANGE. i think it was written by the same person who wrote on the toe of my chuck taylors SPREAD LOVE LIKE TOES (same writing). anyhow, i like it put that way because it expresses that change is inevitable while removing the responsibility that free agency implies. unless you want to question one's ability to condition oneself to accept (why did i get into this?! i NEED to get back to work)... my general response to that conclusion is don't try too hard at anything: things that don't feel natural should probably not be indulged in. of course, i've always been a bit of a pussy. but perpetual effort, the cat chasing its tail, constant striving, never ending strain... all jump forth as images that express something basic about the human condition. we're all a bit of sisyphus... thoughts on tighties in tight spots? yummmm...
graffiti's power to be both poignant and ambiguous constantly strikes me. i've often wondered as to the phenomo-societal relationship of counterposed blog&comment to graffiti.ACCEPT CONSTANT CHANGE. such a good one. kind of heraclitean (change as the only constant). and appealing to volition, without the masque of ego-oriented responsibility. which i like, if only for the lived experience of exerting more intent only to receive more resistance to it. maybe the strain is just dress rehearsal?i really appreciated Shogun, as for all accountability placed on a samurai's shoulders, there were points at which events got so large and overwhelmingly beyond culpability that they had to provide a scapegoat: 'ah, karma' they'd say.
Hmmm. Good question. I like to think that personality can and does change, whether or not it is in response to others. But perhaps it's safe to say (or at least I hope so) that our core never really alters...
re:'ah, karma' It's important to relinquish control sometimes ;)
I've decided to comment without reading the previous comments as to not change my opinion. I think change, in all things, is possible and necessary. Change is also relative. To one, change may be to be a more understanding person, in another it may be to consciously remember to pick up milk on the way home so they don't get into trouble. All change has consequences. I believe the individual must be committed to change and active in their evolution as selves. I don't think anyone can persuade someone to change. It's more of a case of 'when the student is ready, the teacher will appear' scenario. Whenever I have been ready to hear a certain truth or learn a lesson it always comes through exactly when I need it. Doesn't mean it's always a positive experience either. Also, going back to wanting to change, when you're going through it there is a heightened awareness we have that seems to filter everything we need, both good and bad... I tend to think the filter gives us both to test us and see which we choose and if we've learned anything. Thanks for posting this. :)
Heya tommo, I know this change bit, has been up for a bit ................... but i finally have my answer to the big change Que.............. Took six big glasses of wine and a room fulla Le' chateu employes to get here (aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah) but frick............. change is sweet and all ... i mean frick i've been studying creating change for the last four years in school and will continue to do so for the next 2.................... but.................... frikkin A sometimes its nice just to stay the same and love that for a bit................ enjoy it eh............. cuz the frikkin change train can take all the piss................
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