Monday, February 9, 2009

Are people capable of Change?

Are people capable of change?
Or do we just adapt to new situations?

These are the questions that a couple of my co-workers and I pondered today at work.

I think that people do not change. I think that the only things that change are times and situations.

Let me explain.

I said in an earlier post that if I had not joined the military, I would have been a resident in some Federal Institution, a parolee, dead or on my way to being a permanent resident of some Federal Institution. I was on my way to becoming a hardened criminal. It was all I knew. I grew up with Uncles in and out of jail. I grew up watching people rob and sell drugs. I was carrying weapons by the time I was 14 years old. That was who I was and who I wanted to be.

But something told me to change my situation. Something told me that if I wanted to survive I had to change my environment. I had to do something different.

So I joined the Army. I had to adapt to the military way of life. I did not change, but my situation did. I realized that if I wanted to become a productive member of society I had to change my way of thinking. Again, who I was did not change, but I adapted my way of thinking to fit my new situation.

I am still that person I was at 14 carrying that 25 automatic pistol in the small of my back. I realize that my current situation will not allow me to go back down that route because I do no want to change my situation for the worse, but if I had to put that 25 automatic back in the small of my back, I could do it.

I think that all people are like me.

If people changed, why do we continue to make the same mistakes?
Why are there still wars?
Why are there still people starving?
Why is the rich getting richer and the poor staying poor?

Mankind is still making the same dumb-ass mistakes that we were making since the beginning of time. There is nothing new under the sun. Nothing.

The only thing that has changed are situations and time. I think that we have all adapted to our changing circumstances, but as a whole we keep doing the same shit, just in different times.

So where is the change?

Can a person actually change what is in their heart?

Do you think that Barack Obama would be President if the situation of our country had not changed?
Do you actually think that those people in our country with hate in their hearts towards everyone that does not look like them, actually changed enough to put someone they have been taught to hate since their birth in charge of everything they stand for?

I hate to bust your bubble, but Uhhh No.

Their situations demanded that they do something, so they did.

Here is another one...

If people were capable of change, why would we need God?
Couldn't we just change who we are and bypass him all together?
It is the HOPE of change that makes our faith in God strong.
If God is who we think and hope he is, he knows.
He knows we will never change. He knows that if our current situation continues to worsen, we will have no choice but to return to him if we want our situations to change.
All it is is a matter of time.

Time and changing situations.

The ultimate deal breakers.


daddio911 said...

You are absolutely right. I think that people are creatures of their environments and that will never change. If you were in the thug lifestyle, that is what you had as your primary motivator for action. You don't lose the thug in you because you put on a suit and tie and run for congress. People don't change for the most part, they just begin to adapt to the new more important overriding motivator. Whether that be the need to survive or stay out of jail or make money or get laid, what you were is what you are and it's up to the laws of fate or karma to decide what will be your next motivator.

J.J. HENSON said...


Black Diaspora said...

I think that "change" is possible, but it is a slow, a
v e r y S L O W process....

On the individual level, change can be hastened by an epiphany.

The life of George Foreman is a case in point. If you saw him in his earlier fights, you wouldn't believe that this angry fighter would one day become the man that he now is--a large, teddy bear of man, with a gentle smile and demeanor.

Did Ol' George undergo a change, a profound transformation?

No doubt about it.

On the level of humanity, change is occurring, but it, too, is happening slowly, but it is happening.

There are forces moving it alone, so that in this century we will see an acceleration of change, as mankind begin to grow up, and put "childish things away."

truth said...

Interesting post,
The answer to your question is in your story.

You did not have to join the army, you choose to do so because you wanted to take a different route than the one you were on. Although, you may have liked doing you're thing in the street, something inside of you made you join the military.

While in the military, you adjusted to the lifestyle and completed your enlistment. Again, you made that choice to do so. You could have done you're thing, smoked a blunt and got kicked out, but you choose not to do that.

I work with addicts who continually break the law and end up in court ordered treatment. Some of them have been to treatment over six or seven times. They know the consequences, yet they still get high and get caught up. Part of the reason is they like getting high and don't care about the consequences. They don't want to change.

You made a choice as a young man to take a different career path. By definition, that's called change.

The Raw Truth said...

I think anybody can change who has the desire to do so. Change has to be in your heart and not just your mind. I know of people that has changed for the better and for the worse. As you keep living change is inevitable.

Kim said...

No unfortunately not. Especially not after a certain age.

Bellini said...

dirty red you have to feel and know people can change, not all people of course...there would be no merit to Darwin's survival of the fittest is change wasn't plausible -- this is some provactive stuff, me likey!

freemanpress said...

I think the majority of people are influenced by the surroundings. It is indeed a rare person who can think for themselves. With that being said I think people are capable just not the great majority. More people change with the trends, believe the news without investigation and as a result are predictable and easily manipulated. So unless someone shows them how to think for themselves their surroundings dictate their responses and thus their lives.


Fred said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fred said...

Yes. People are capable of change. The defining parameter however, is their desire to do so and their awareness of the consequences necessary to make that change long lasting.

As a society, a human society not just an American one, we have not yet come to understand our true power lies in the choices we make each and every moment. What we choose to think and believe affects our actions and creates the world we experience around us. When we can understand how powerful our choices truly are and the consequences they hold for us individually and collectively, then a new life's possibility emerges.

It is true most change occurs when it is forced upon us. However, as we become more and more technologically capable, the ability to recover from our mistakes such as greed, or war, diminishes because the damage we are capable of inflicting on ourselves and our environment increases.

The true test for humanity will be can we learn to implement change "before" disaster strikes both personally and collectively.