Monday, February 12, 2007

Changing People

So this came from my mom. I'd really like to hear what you guys think of it.

To sculpt the other into our own likeness fails before it begins. People can't change form no matter how much and in what manner we require them to. Form is inherent, ingrained, indelible. Ask a snake to swallow itself. Ask a person to change form-think or want differently-and you ask the impossible, for it is the thinking and wanting that is required to change the thinking and wanting. Form cannot be self-changing. Of course, some change is possible, but it is twisting and distortion of underlying form. Remove the fangs of a lion and behold a toothless lion, not a domestic cat. Our attempts to change spouse, offspring, or others can result in change, but the result is a scar and not a transformation.


Liz said...

If you're only talking about trying to change other people to make them into the person you think they should be, etc. I completely agree. The only way ANYone changes, is because the person wants to change themselves. You can help, by being encouraging and by being a good example, but that's it. I have tried to get around this more than once and I finally learned my lesson the hard way about 4 years ago. People are who they are - until they decide that they are unhappy with the way they are living their life.

geekedout said...

i guess i don't agree with some part of this. people do change. you cannot change them rapidly or through trauma. you cannot change them against their will. but people do change. there is an underlying form to most people that stays roughly the same, but these forms can be amplified, twisted, or altered. a depressed person can become happy given the proper circumstances. an addict can stay clean given the proper support and surroundings. a slacker can become motivated when they find something interesting. but you can't force it. i think your mom's comment that attempts to change end in scars is more often true, but not because we are all unchangable. it just comes from the way people try to force change. with liz and her hatred of her old job, i couldn't make her quit, but i could certainly bring up her own internal pain to force her to examine it. she decided on what change would come of that in her own time. i enabled change, but i did not force the type of change. i just provided motivation. there are no scars from that.