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.