People Don’t Change

by Urban Samurai on February 5, 2012

People don’t change. You know that already, I’m sure. Despite what’s in almost every movie we see, in real life it’s not just one great lesson learned and then all of the sudden, you become some different person. It’s not one great learning that gets you to grow. Or the popular version that one great woman can instantly change a man. Or one great man that halts a woman from continuing down the wrong path that she has been traveling down her whole life.

For most of my adult life, I knew people couldn’t change. This is not something I  want to believe. It’s a depressing thought actually. But this has been proven over and over and over again to me, that with a few rare exceptions, people just remain who they are.

The selfish remain selfish. The cruel remain cruel. Even the naive basically remain naive, despite constant lessons and learning.

To be fair, there is a good way to look at this also. The good in people remains the good as well. The giving continue to give. The loving continue to love.

But there are a lot of people out there, myself included, who need to change some things.

I realized something in the last few days. It’s not that people can’t change. It’s just that people don’t change. Or they won’t change. For some, I would go so far as to say that they refuse to change. But many people are just unaware of who they are. Unaware that there are things in them that need improvement or changing.

If they knew they were bad people, most people would at least try to do something about it. Most cruel people don’t think of themselves as cruel. Most racists don’t think they are racist. Most unethical people don’t think what they are doing is unethical. And that’s a problem.

I realized all this because I now know that change is possible. I know this because I can feel this change inside of me. It’s nothing that most people would notice. Not yet anyway.

But after this striving. After this borderline public declaration through Urban Samurai. After everything that has gone on in my life in this last year and a half, I can finally feel myself growing. Inside. For real. My thoughts are becoming different.

It didn’t happen overnight, and obviously didn’t take just one event to bring on this change. It started 18 months ago, when I realized what a bad place I was in. Sure, I went ahead and blamed my circumstances on others for a while. And it took a ton of introspection to realize how large of a part I played in all of it. How my behaviors and actions allowed, or dictated pretty much all of it.

Then it was months of want. And starting this blog. And meditating. That want became a need inside of me. And that need drove this through everything I did. Through everything I do.

Maybe it’s just me getting older. Maybe this would have happened anyway. But I don’t know. So few others really seem to change at all, so I’m thinking maybe this is the formula.

It started with recognizing where I was. Then a want to get out of that place. That led to action and a long look in the mirror. And the small wins I got from those actions, and the glimmer of light I saw through that, made my want become a need. And that need led to more action and a deeper look and eventual understanding of who I was versus who I wanted to be. That led to life changes and then a significant mental shift.

I’m not all the way there yet. Not that close really. But I’ll get there. People for the most part might not change, but I can change.

If you throw a rock, even a big rock, at an ocean, the waters aren’t going to change direction. You throw enough rocks over time and something will shift. The good news is, I’m not an ocean. I’m more like a lake, or pond. And I have a strong arm and a lot of rocks.