Any spare change?

We have all pondered the question if people can change… if we can put our old selves aside, our beliefs, our doctrines, our habits…and become someone else?  And if we can become someone else, is this the person that we truly are…and does our soul only reveal itself when we’re ready to have it appear?

Our friends, family, television, society, have all told us no, people can’t change.  We are who we are.  One of my favorite quotes by Maya Angelou reflects “When people show you who they are, believe them.” I’ve always thought that we can’t change, not really.  Yes, we make improvements, adjustments along the way.  But do we have a greater power than that?  In Modern Family, Mitchell said that people can change, but only by fifteen percent.  Churchill said that “to improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”

In Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning,” he answers this differently:

“Man is self-determining.  Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become in the next moment…every human being has the freedom to change at any instant.”

It gave me hope for myself (and all those people I deem needing to change, naturally).    Maybe, once making the decision to do so, we are able to take back our own power.  Things are not predetermined.  We have a say on how we see everything.  And thus have a power to sway the outcome. We can have control over our fates, and that what happens to us does not define us.

I do like to think that we learn from our pasts….and that change comes from this place.  Maybe all we need is the desire to do so.


3 thoughts on “Any spare change?

  1. People have a nearly limitless potential for change and self-improvement, however I don’t agree with Frankl’s view.

    Man is usually very weak. Man is only partially in-control of himself.

    Most of our behavior is defined by our sub-conscious mind. Unless we are aware of our true self we are on autopilot the majority of the time, the subconscious is determining our reaction to almost everything. For most, we go about life with one defense mechanism after another, not knowing why we respond to life the way we do, why we think the way we do. Even the way we view others and the rest of the world is poisoned by our mind, usually reality is much different than what we think.

    Most men (and women, I guess) rather die than change their habits. How many people engage in bad behavior that they know is risky, yet they refuse to change their habits…or, they try and they fail?

    I agree with you that we can all change, a total, 100%, turn-around change. Change is very simple but we make it so complicated. What we do need is the will to change, and I believe we all have that deep down in our hearts. But the will must overcome our mind before change can be successful.

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