Opinion: Don't Let that Change You II

When I wrote the original "Don't Let that Change You," I didn't mean to write a sequel. But through a  wonderful comment I realized I had failed expressing my point clearly. This is a new behavior that I am practicing and it's still a bit hard to explain. I am sharing it only because I am finding it significant to my self-growth. So here goes a second attempt.

At a certain stage in life it's safe to say we come to know ourselves better and are thus more confident in saying "I like these things" or "I dislike those things." And we may describe ourselves as, "I am always on time." Or perhaps "ah time! What animal is that?!" We may say we like people "who like the things we like" and "can't stand people who behave in certain ways." Hence we have a better sense of our individuality.

Knowing this, we go to places and meet people who come to us with their own set of habits and ideas of what is cool and what's not. We engage with them and realizes that we like certain things about them.  So we spend more time with them and come to learn they also have some uncool habits.  If we decide that despite their flaws we still like them enough to stick around, at least for the meantime, then it's important that we remain vigilant so as to not adopt the unappealing habits of our friends.  Being careful not to practice the poor habits discovered is what I mean by not letting "that"change you.  I say "that" and not "them" because I like to differentiate people and habits. Habit is like a coat of paint and people are like walls. With some effort one can repaint a wall.

In the original post, I used tardiness as an example and I shall continue to do so here:  Hence, if our friend's issue is a disregard for time, it's important that we don't start adopting that attitude ourselves. We could easily do so with the reasoning that "well, so-and-so never shows up on time, so I won't either." This way of thinking and thus acting is normal and happens almost unconsciously.  In time, that way of thinking starts painting a new shade over our attitudes and gives us new habits we didn't like in others and didn't practice ourselves.

The obvious question here is why befriend persons with low regards for what we value? Our needs are affected by our present situations as well as frame of mind so when we encounter others who possess certain skills of significant timely value to us being flexible is essential.  

I have made a new acquaintance and our relationship keeps me questioning why I bother to associate with them. The reflections prompted by my association with them led me to this theory. Opening myself to the opportunity of seeing things through the perspective of another with experiences and a point of view quiet different from mine, but whom I find intriguing and believe I can learn from is fascinating.  As no two persons are the same, it is an excellent exercise to learn to see the world as others see it. To learn to accept people as they are while still remaining true to whatever self that you are. In the long run, I believe this will strengthen how I deal with others. But it is essential that I learn to pick up the good and stay vigilant in resisting the poor. After all, I do want to go forward and not backward. 


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