Social Science - Other

Can Human Beings Change the way they are

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"Can Human Beings Change the way they are"
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One of the safest bets you can make is that a person won't change. Actions might change, opinions may change but the person at the core will stay the same. But where does that leave the person who wants to change? The person who knows they aren't what they want to be? Are they stuck, unable to move forward because human beings simply don't change or is it possible for a person to change his personality or are humans incapable of real change.

The good news is that we only have to find a single case of a man changing, truly changing, to prove that it is possible for a man to change. The bad news is that this isn't as simple as it may seem. How do you know if a person truly changed? What if they were always the same but their actions changed? The answer can only be that for actions to change for more than a few days there must be some basic change in the person.

This leads us to the story of one of the more stunning changing in human history. The story of John Newton, and to make the long story short he was a slave ship captain, making money by capturing shiploads of Africans shoving them below deck of his ship and sailing for America. During the trip up to half of the captives could die.

On one of those trips John Newton was on the deck of the ship when a storm came upon them. He was convinced that he would die and he cried out to God and something in him changed. He gave up the slave trade and became a minister, spending the rest of his life as an abolitionist and even mentoring William Wilberforce who was the major force behind the British abolition of slavery.

And that is the second implied part of the question. If a single man cannot change then we as a species cannot change. We will be forced to live through endless cycles of war, hatred, depravity and more. We will be what we are forever, but John Newton proves two things through his change. First, that a single man can change, that someone can turn from evil and become a force for something better and secondly that the change in a single man can bring about change in others.

Mahatma Gandhi once said "Be the change you want to see in the world." And perhaps as he spoke those words the phrase "I once was blind but now I see, was lost but now am found" slipped through his mind and for a moment two men who couldn't have taken more different paths united to remind people again that it is possible to change not only yourself but the world.

More about this author: Elton Gahr

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