Time and time again, I’ve heard people insist that “people never change,” but honestly, I never quite saw the logic in that. All people do is change. And I’m not the only one who thinks so. Even philosopher Henri Bergson argued that our existence is nothing but a constant state of changing states. So why do people maintain that the opposite is the truth?
Well, for one thing, it’s easier to assume that those who’ve done you wrong will never rise above the low they once reached—in this way you excuse yourself from the moral obligation of forgiveness. And for another, we’d all like to hope that those who we do trust and who have yet to let us down, will never take that turn for the worst for the fact that they, as we know them, are incapable of such actions. But as convenient as it might feel to hold onto these beliefs—driven by the initial inclination that people are static in character—life experience has shown me, and surely shown many others, that these things are simply not true.
Disappointing as it is to accept, many times those we think highest of will change and, in many cases, wind up hurting us. And while this seems a rather dour thing to consider, the closure that forgiveness offers is not the only thing you have the opportunity to achieve here. For example, accepting the fact that this person’s misdeed is the product of a change in character rather than an unveiling of longtime character, can actually go a long way to heal the wounds created by such an incident. If you allow yourself to believe that this is who they’ve been all along, you allow yourself to fall into the trap of feeling like a fool for ever trusting at all—and that’s no way to live.True, this belief system forces you to accept the fact that being let down is a possibility—that people are fickle and will change whether you like it or not. But that is sure to happen even if you refuse to acknowledge the possibility of it. To believe that change is not only possible in people, but probable, and even necessary, is to free yourself of the burden of having trusted the wrong people, and more than that, it is to free yourself of the burden of bitter grudges that can only really be maintained if you believe that said wrongdoer is forevermore doing just as wrong as they once did. So do yourself a favor and accept it; people do change.