Do people change? Can people change? And I guess I should be more specific, not use a generalized term like “people,” because I think people can change. Certain persons, though? No. If the behavior continues, change is hard to happen.
A friend pointed this out to me recently when I was lamenting the situation of a an acquaintance. “Hasn’t he always been like this?” she asked. Yes. “Well, don’t expect a change.” Then, she said something that struck me as so true.
“You put more emotional energy into these people than they can ever repay. Yet you expect them to do so.”
She was right. I have tried to help whenever I could. It’s who I am and what I do. Her comment that started with “yet” is what struck me so hard. I do expect change. I do expect reciprocity. My parents taught me to pass on my blessings. But they didn’t say that people will repay you. The hobo that my mother fed on the back porch would continue to be a hobo. You didn’t help people so you could be repaid, you helped people because you could.
Who has to change here? Me. I need to change my expectations. Some people are never going to change, no matter how much I expect them to.