I read Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen a couple summers ago and I recently thought about a quote from it.
“People don’t change. If anything, you get more set in your ways as you get older, not less.”
Agree or disagree, but I truly believe people do not change. Before you rant to me about stories of how you or someone you know “changed,” let me explain what I mean. I believe as human beings we can change habits, i.e. you can quit smoking or you can stop biting your nails. We’re programmed to adapt to different environments or grow up and change from being a shy caterpillar to a social butterfly. Change is inevitable and as individuals, we constantly adjust depending on where we are and who we are with, i.e. I’m shy around people I don’t know, but when I’m with my friends I change and am the loudest one in the room. That change is great. It’s what makes us unique and individual.
However, the change I’m talking about is internal.
If a person is greedy, they will always be greedy. Sure, they can work on hiding it or perhaps show it less, but like the quote says, you get more set in your ways as you get older. The greediness will come out whether you like it or not. Probably in subtle ways everyone but yourself will recognize.
If a person is genuine and kind, they will always be genuine and kind. I’ve known a lot of great people in my life, and to this day they continue to be the most giving and loving.
If you are the person who is greedy, impatient, selfish, jealous, or all of the above, you’re not going to change. That’s the bad news. The good news is, we have the ability to accept who we are and move on.
I’m going to admit, my worst trait is that I’m selfish. I often think of myself before I think of someone else. Do I like being selfish? No. Have I accepted it? Not fully, but I’m getting there. Being 22, I’m starting to grow into my skin and understand who I am and what my strengths/weaknesses are. I never wanted to admit that I can be selfish because I didn’t want to believe that I was a bad person. But heck, I don’t give homeless people money and if I won 100 boxes of Kit-Kat’s, I’d probably hide them so I don’t have to share.
Being selfish, in my opinion, isn’t bad. Among being loyal, cooperative, forgiving, patient, friendly, humble, respectful, etc, it all compiles into one big ball of…me, and I’m unapologetic for it. Just as author Candace Bushnell says, “I make mistakes, that’s what I do. I speak without thinking. I act without knowing. I drink so much that I can barely walk. I’m a fantastic lover though, and an amazing friend. God knows I mean well.”
To be honest, without a flaw or two, we’d all be pretty boring.