I have this saying: people never change, they only get more defined over time. I remember coming up with it, though I was sure at the time that someone else had probably said it already, though I haven’t looked it up. It’s part of my belief in the stuff personality psychology spouts, I suppose, though at the time I came up with it I hadn’t yet started my Psychology studies. This was quite a few years ago.
This quote isn’t to say that change doesn’t happen. I have this other phrase I like to quote, this one I lifted from someone, I think my sister said it to me originally: the only thing constant is change. I like the slight paradox of it, as well as how it rings true. I do believe people change all the time too, though in different ways than the first saying implies.
The second quote has to do with the general transitive stuff: thoughts, ideas, appearance, situations, all the stuff that always changes. The first saying is all about the core of the individual, not the outer ideas. I believe as life goes on the core of us doesn’t change dramatically, it just gets better and better defined.
Like a sculpture, we start off as a large piece of whatever rock may hold appeal to each of us: granite, marble, etc. We always have a sculpture inside of us ready to be chipped away at. The image is always there, but perhaps we have the ability to decide on what pose or position the sculpture will be in, though the form will be the same. There is some kernel, some idea of the sculpture inside of the block of stone, only one thing that the sculpture will end up being, but the exact shape and form of the sculpture is dependent on all those around us who help chip away at that block, including ourselves. And the first chips are always the biggest.
I remember being told once about a sculptor who would spend days and days just sitting looking at his giant slab of rock that would once become a beautiful sculpture. When asked what he was doing he would always reply that he was sculpting, even though there were no tools in his hand. He was envisioning the possibilities and figuring out what it was that rock wanted to become before he even started chipping away at it to form it into a new whole. I don’t remember who that sculptor was, so if you know/can find out I’d be appreciative, but the message remains the same.
Change is inevitable, but there is some sort of wonderful mesh of nature and nurture that helps us continuously evolve into what it is that we become, and I’m not sure we ever get to become in this lifetime. Maybe.