I’m struggling to remember an attribution for a quote. I’m too lazy to go searching for it—Google didn’t have the answer, and I’m out. But I think it’s from a movie. Paraphrased, it’s this: People don’t change. They get better or they get worse, but they don’t change.
|Photo courtesy of Sean MacEntee|
I think it’s nice to believe that people will change. That a person with bad habits, like someone who has a problem with fidelity, will suddenly experience a change of heart and be true to that one love of his or her life, forever. That someone who makes cutting little remarks meant to take down other people’s self-esteem—those sneaky insult/compliment types, where they’re like all wow, I love your sweater, it really brings out your eyes and hides the fact that you have a giant ass—will suddenly be nice as pie and sincere and never say jackwagon things that make you want to punch them in the face. I don’t believe they will change, but I always hope. I never really learn. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, because just because they verbally crotch punched me once doesn’t mean they will do it again.
I wish I could talk people out of letting those un-changer types crotch punch them repeatedly. It would save so much trouble if people knew that they were going to get hurt ahead of time. It’s not realistic. If someone I loved and trusted implicitly had sat me down and very earnestly explained to me that I was making a huge mistake right when I was in the middle of making a huge mistake, I’d like to think I’d be different than 99 percent of people and I would have listened. But I know myself. I wouldn’t. Because it’s not how people work. It’s not really how the world works. We all have to make mistakes and get hurt or there would be no need for breakup songs. Or love songs, for that matter, because we’d all be practical and smart and logical and we’d listen to older, wiser, more experienced folks and save ourselves some trouble.
So here’s to making mistakes and having faith in people even when they don’t deserve it. Here’s to getting out there and making that mistake, even if it hurts like hell, because I tried. I put myself out there and tried. Here’s to rejection and cruelty and letting it all roll off my back. Here’s to silencing the voice inside my head that says can’t, won’t, don’t even try. To cutting out the vocal chords of those who would pull me down or push me down or tell me that it’s not worth my time or trouble. Here’s to silencing the negative me, my naysaying and faithlessness in human nature. Screw the unbelievers. I believe in change. I believe in trying. I believe. I believe. I believe.
What do you believe in? Can people change? Is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results really the definition of insanity, or is it just persistence and determination? Leave your comment below or pigeons will (might) poop on your head.
Julie Simmons-Wixom is a true believer. Email her if you want to talk more.