Sometimes in our lives we fill our own heads with naïve fantasies that we can alter our friends, family members, and significant others in order to better suit our own needs and desires. We believe we have the power to change people. But more than that, we assume that people can change. I don’t think that’s possible.
In my experience, out of all the people I’ve encountered the last seventeen years, I’ve never seen someone completely change.
You may be wondering, “How can this be? What about all those that you gave up on being friends with?” Well, those friends didn’t undergo any significant alterations. The negative qualities always dwelled inside them, but at one point they started displaying only the bad ones. Even though a shred of goodness still exists inside of them, they focus on and exhibit the undesirable characteristics.
Now it may sound judgmental of me, but I stopped being friends with those people, not because they changed, but because their priorities shifted. They’re still the same people, with the same sense of humor, same laugh, same fears, same insecurities, only now they don’t want to be friends with just me. They want to be popular. They want to have a lot of friends. It’s something they’ve always wanted, not a significant change.
Even members of my own family, who I’ve known literally my entire life, still don’t change. Heck, they even look the same. My own brother, who is two years older than me, has always been same. Throughout all his years of school he never once changed significantly. Even after entering college, he stayed exactly the same. We tried to change him- his antisocial, snobbish qualities were dragging him down- but he didn’t budge. He has always been (and will always be) the way he started out.
The most often occurrence of naivety is when it comes to love. When we love someone, I mean really love someone, we shouldn’t want to change them, but we try anyway. We slave away on a lost cause even though in the end, we’re still unsatisfied with who is sitting next to us.
Personally, I don’t think people are ever really satisfied just sitting around accepting everyone for who they are. There are the go-getters who must make the best of everyone and help reach their true potential. To those I give the wise words of Gandhi: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Because even though people don’t ever change, they can still be influenced by others to focus on their positive qualities, instead of only exhibiting the bad.