Despite the all too familiar statement; “human beings are creatures of habit,” I firmly believe; “Yes” we can indeed change, and continue to change throughout the developmental stages we experience in, and throughout our lives.
Aesthetically, we are almost constantly forced to adhere to change through acceptance, or even by a measure of denial, and tend to adapt to our circumstances, surroundings, responsibilities, and the lifestyle(s) we elect to uphold in honor of the privileges we are afforded.
Mind you, we tend to develop ‘habits’ or establish ‘areas of comfort’ in our lives whereby, we tend to function within the means of our personal areas of human interest, mental capacities, or given capabilities.
In looking at the psychological aspects of our human nature, there is little room for debate that we change every single day of our lives. If we were to study the progression or transitions that take place in the course of a human beings life from infancy to the toddler stage, or even exploring adulthood to the regressive processes that take place in reaching old age; we absolutely can and do change quite extensively.
However, we as human beings are almost all guilty of having specific attributes, handicaps, or even weaknesses that seemingly hinder us our whole lives. Whether be it alcoholism, drug addictions, gambling, sexual promiscuities, or even those driven to succeed by measure of success through entrepreneurial explorations, we all seem to have specific human characteristics that define us throughout our lives.
It is the individual’s responsibility to acknowledge his/her strengths from areas of weakness, and then establishing a decision and effort to produce changes that ultimately determine the outcome.
Perhaps the title should read; “Can human beings change their characteristics?” as this is truly the area in which we are systematically empowered or impaled, dependent upon the personal efforts we employ to better ourselves.
Conclusively, we all develop specific habits, and many of us carry those habits from the earliest stages of personal development onto our passing day. If we silently observe the behavioral patterns of our family members, (i.e. our parents, our children, siblings, or even our close friends) we can absolutely register specific findings in people that define who they are, what they stand for, or even what their strengths and weaknesses consist of.
Without being bias or judgmental, it is almost essential we confide in those we love, care about, or those whom we have developed a bond with, to constructively address specific attributes, habits, strengths and weaknesses, and in doing so; empower others (and ourselves) to the importance of growth and change.
A dear friend of mine who has long since passed left a stain deep on my soul when he said; “The day you don’t learn something new, is the day you die.”
The irony being, at the expense of him losing his life, I learned at an early age ‘not’ to drink and drive’ as it proved to be a deadly mistake on his behalf.
It might not have made much sense back in those adolescent days when he said it, but I’ll be the first to admit; it became much more clear as I grew older, had children, and started my own family.
Truth is, we do learn something new every day, and in the pursuit of knowledge, we are inherently endearing changes to evolve our understandings, and our place in and amidst this life.
Therefore, it is in every absolution that we as human beings can and do change for better or for worse. It is not by accident that very phrase is written into the vows a couple entrusts in a traditional marriage ceremony to this day.
Truly, change is inevitable.
However, our ability to accept change(s) ultimately determines; whether we ourselves will be the recipient of reaping the rewards of our efforts to acknowledge and adapt to said change(s)?
Or, if we chose to ignore or fear change, we may suffer to a degree, as that which was, or became considered acceptable to us yesterday, may not provide suitable means or reward today or especially tomorrow.
These types of acknowledgment can be traced throughout the tracks of time from Martin Luther’s “95 Theses”, to Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from the Birmingham Jail” written on April 16th, 1963 concerning matters of Human Rights, and the passion he had for exploiting racial segregation. From both these men, change was influenced, and enacted.
Typically, the true problems we face concern the fear of change, or the fear of the unknown. Fear of change can be explored on both the individual level, on up to global issues concerning maintaining peace or enacting a war.
Thus, as we evolve daily, so then does the demand, challenges, rewards, and repercussions of our perceptive nature as human beings.
Ultimately, we are afforded the choice to ‘accept’ or ‘deny’ change in and throughout our lives. The outcome of our initial perceptions, decisions, and the efforts and actions we employ toward change itself, is the key as to how we are viewed, observed, or remembered in the abstract of our life, and how we lived it.
Personally, I am all for change, and like to believe; if we change one simple aspect of our lives each year in an effort to better ourselves with respect towards others and the preservation of the whole, then we’ve given our best to be grateful for the life we’ve been privileged to explore. A life that requires persistence, obedience, determination, and a measure of respect to the fact; changes are going to happen, with or without our consent. (Preferably for the better, of course)
We can only rely upon our own mental capacity, perception, beliefs, choices, actions, and efforts which can in essence afford us a measure of sustainment and happiness each day we endure life’s ever-changing landscape.
As for this author’s opinion; “I have indeed changed many facets of my life, and continue to pursue being a cultivator in a world full of temptations and predators. Might I only hope and pray others are willing to acknowledge the difference, and put forth the same effort.”
In closing, I paraphrase one of my many heroes; Patrick Henry, as he stated on March 23rd, 1775; “I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.”
-Skipping ahead, he closed his wisdom filled speech, and went on to say; “Forbid it Almighty God, for I may not know what course others may take, but as for me; give me liberty or give me death.”
Citations & Recommended Reading:
Martin Luther’s - “95 Theses”:
Martin Luther King Jr. - “Letter From Birmingham Jail”:
Patrick Henry’s Speech – “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death”;