Monday, February 22, 2010

The Inside Person

I know how my fifty year old friend acted when she was five or ten. I know what my eighty-five year old friend was like when she was a young girl, too. I wasn’t there to observe either one, but I know how they behaved.

How do I know that? I’ve lived long enough now to know that people do not change. I’ve seen my children, my neighbor’s children, children of friends, and relatives’ offspring grow from infanthood to adulthood and I’ve looked for changes, and they weren’t there.

Oh yes, you can see folks who didn’t have material things and now possess them. I’ve seen people who have acquired degrees they didn’t have. And I’ve seen people move from one part of town to another. And they didn’t change.

If their environments and possessions have changed what is it that remained the same? The inside of them, the characteristics, their feelings and approaches to life. If they were gentle as children, they are gentle now. If they were sensitive to other’s feelings, they don’t want to hear of someone cheating others. The little boy who shared his toys when he was five gives to charities now that he is a man.

The child who was concerned with herself, her needs, wants and desires, is an adult consumed with herself. The small girl who loved to be socializing with her friends is now grown and still socializing. The boy who fantasized about winning in games grew up and participated in sports. He is still dreaming of his team winning big.

Whatever it is that makes us what we are is there for the rest of our lives. We can modify our behavior, alter our lifestyles, acquire new practices, change our diets, etc., but the real inside person remains.

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