I think everyone changes.
People change all of the time. We are unceasing systems of change.
Yet so many people deny they actually change beyond the obvious (physically we all change, we all get older), because change often has a stigma associated with it. After all, someone who is noted for changing often can be seen as mercurial, unable to hold to form and cannot be relied upon to have points of view worth considering. It’s easy to dismiss someone who changes, and it’s not so much how they change, but THAT they change at all.
I, for example, have most definitely changed. I have consistently moved left in my politics, and have become both more generous, and less critical in my social understanding, especially in relation to people who share similar circumstances to my own.
Still, if one looks through my history, there is a clear pattern, a clear direction, if one isn’t scared off by the significant amount of change that has occurred. I am aware a common criticism of me is that I’ll be a totally different person in a few weeks/months/years. The people who say that are fools because they don’t understand the process by which human experience and knowledge shapes others who are willing to listen, or maybe they’re scared?
Perhaps they fear that if they associate with someone who learns and adapts rapidly, who can remove what was once fundamental truths because those supposed truths were found to be lies inculcated into them by a system that does not want them to stop and think, that perhaps those people who are scared might stop liking what they like, and start knowing what they don’t want to know. It does happen. New knowledge can be life altering.
So I realized that plenty of people change, it’s just that instead of acknowledging those changes, they incorporated it into themselves as if it was always a part of who they were, and dismissed any indication that they had felt any other way.
An example? Why of course. There are people who called out Donald Trump for children being locked in cages, and rightfully so. We stood together and proclaimed that there was no excuse for concentration camps in the United States.
Now here we are under Biden, those children are still in cages, but people changed enough to allow for it under certain circumstances. They changed with their environment, like a chameleon. The concentration camps became overflow facilities. They began to be compared to summer camps, like the Republicans did when they defended Donald Trump.
Suddenly the shouting became less forceful, there were fewer people on the field making their voices heard. Where were some of my friends who were strident in their anger at the brutality? My allies demanding that ICE be abolished? Where did they go? They didn’t go anywhere, but some of them did change their uniforms. A number of them became hesitant, hushed, they spoke more quietly, in tones softer and more conciliatory towards the power structures that now smiled at them with glowing promises of unity instead of insulted them on Twitter.
“Now,” it was said, “is a time for patience, and reason. This is no time to make waves, to rock the boat, to risk capsizing in a sea infested with sharks.”
The news cozied up to the old boss, but now they could be trusted to report the truth, because the new boss wouldn’t tolerate the kind of gross power manipulation the previous leader had so clearly used, and not one moment did it occur to them that the new boss would hide anything, would cover the mic for any reason except to offer a moment of silence on the dead and dying because now nothing could be done, unlike the old boss who wanted to forge ahead without considering the dangers and keeping the country open, we must now forge ahead, considering the dangers, and keep the country open.
This was no longer a red man in a blue world, but a blue man in a red world. Real change.
You can see the color change, can’t you? It was red, and now it’s blue.
Everything changes, and it’s the only thing that stays the same.
Just a wayward line of thought.
I think everyone changes.