No One Remains The Same

People don’t change, they reveal who they really are.
―Source unknown (by me)

In recent months I’ve seen that quote plastered on Facebook by multiple people and pages. I found the quote intriguing until I really sat down and thought about it. While it’s true that many of us hide our true selves from most others for fear of judgement, or perhaps discovery of ill-intentions, do we really never change? Are we always the same person no matter what events or experiences attempt to shape us?

No.

I speak from my experiences only, but I am a different person than I was in the past. I’m a different person now than I was at 20, 30, or even just last week. As I’ve gotten older I have changed dramatically. Sixteen years of raising children has increased my patience considerably. Being paralyzed by depression has humbled me and taught me that control is only an illusion. Being a part-time father has taught me to value every second I have with my children and not to take my time with them for granted. Following bloggers of different races, genders, and nationalities has taught me tolerance and given me the ability to see multiple points of view and become less judgmental. Rushing into relationships, being hurt, and hurting others has taught me the folly of impatience and volatility of emotional attachments. All of these lessons have caused me to change how I approach and react to new situations.

Having experienced these transformations due only to events in my life, I find it hard to believe that no one else has changed. With each new experience, with each new lesson learned, we change. Perhaps, at our core, we remain the same (I will always be the guy who attempts to diffuse a tense situation with a bit of humor, for instance), but as a whole we are always evolving. Life shapes us. Events mold us. Sometimes life can completely demolish you, and when it does you will emerge on the other side a completely different person.

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Most of us have been broken at some point or another. We have lost a parent, sibling, or child. We have been divorced. We have been raped or abused. We have experienced the worst that life has to offer. How can you not change with all of the trials and tribulations life imposes? How can you not emerge from the death of a loved one or the loss of a lover a changed person? I just don’t believe that’s possible.

On the flip side, most of us have fallen in love. We have gotten married. We have become parents. We’ve welcomed nieces, nephews, and grandchildren into this world. We got that promotion. We achieved goals we set for ourselves. We have experienced the best that life has to offer. How can you fall in love or welcome a child into this world and remain the same person? You’d have to be a robot or something.

To sum up, I call bullshit on this quote and the myriad of other quotes which assert that people do not change. We are always changing. Perpetually evolving. I would counter this quote with a far more truthful quote:

“The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change -”
― Heraclitus

You know it’s true because Heraclitus is a Greek philosopher, and those guys were never wrong. Seriously, it’s ludicrous to think people don’t change. I’m not even the same person I was when I started writing this and you’re not the same person you were when you started reading this. My words have just changed you. And me. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but there you are.

Audience Participation Time!

What do you think, dearest reader? Are there people who never change? How have you changed in recently?

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About Twindaddy (328 Articles)
Sometimes funny. Sometimes serious. Always genuine.

113 Comments on No One Remains The Same

  1. Loved this! Of course I’ve changed, even from a year ago. It’s what makes life interesting isn’t it!

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  2. No, it’s not always for the better, sadly.

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  3. We do change. I only worry I’m not improving.

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  4. WORD!! Transformation is part of our growth process. If you think about it we start changing the second we’re born. I have always believed that these transformations and more importantly, how we deal with them, determine our change…for better or worse. I’ve had plenty of opportunity to get on the pity express to downerville, lord knows that would be easy, but I chose to deal at my own pace and hope for the best. So far so good …. I think anyway.

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  5. Yesssss!! Even if you wanted to, life is way too dynamic to stay the same. And by changing, you can learn things about yourself you didn’t even expect you had/could/knew.

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  6. Great post, TD.

    I feel as though I am always striving for change, for improvement, but sadly it’s often two steps forward and then one back. Although just my very awareness of it makes it a kind of change, I suppose.

    And I wouldn’t categorize you as a part time father. I know it’s only semantics we’re talking here, but shared custody doesn’t make you any less than a full time, 24-hour-a-day dad.

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  7. oh God help me if people think i’m the same dumb person i was in high school. how can seeing your baby born not rock your world? how can losing someone close to you not blur the way you see things? how can life not change you? how?

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  8. Love this post. Change is essential, and I think everyone does it, whether they realize it or not. I’m certainly not the same person I was at 18, or 22, or 27 and I’m going to stop there. . .I’m not okay with progressing numbers 😀

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  9. I would say I’ve changed over time – we all change as you point out – but I feel that my core beliefs that started to develop in my 20s are basically still there. I’ve learned and built on all that – but I feel that I’m very much rooted in a basic set of ethics that have guided me for a while now. And not to say that everyone is the same – but things like patience etc have all been learned/improved upon/ possibly not as much as I’d like 🙂 thru the course of my life from the experiences I’ve had.

    Great post – I love things like this that make me think.

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  10. We doll change; we grow in so many ways.experience teaches us from a young age to modify our behavior. But I think that there are some things that really remain the same. I knew my niece and her brothers closely all their lives. And their personalities now that they are in their 40s are what they were as toddlers. One is very organized and caring but frustrated at being out of control; another is a brooder; the third is carefree and looking for fun. This same is true for my son (happy go lucky and easily distracted) and his cousins that are Jacob’s age (the elder brilliant but spacey; the younger a total go getter who would negotiate to get what she wanted –and win). It still surprises me how little they have changed. But they have all grown and, yes, changed!

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  11. I also find myself trying to diffuse tense situations with humour. I really battle with conflict and tend to stay away from it, thus resulting in me getting walked all over lol.

    Loved this post, thank-you 😉

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  12. certainly change is constant 😀

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  13. Most people change.
    There are a bunch of arrogant, self centered people who do not.

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  14. Deanna Herrmann // February 10, 2014 at 8:43 am // Reply

    I agree. I think we are continuously growing and evolving and with that we do change. I think there is a set of core beliefs and values that typically remain the same, but other than that, of course we do! Nice topic!

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  15. I’m a firm believer that in order to grow we must change.

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  16. There is something to learn every single day. I think we’re all changing all the time. Loved this post, and I love people that make me laugh and think. Bonus points if those things happen at the same time.

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  17. Well, maybe…I don’t know.

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  18. I’ve changed and evolved so often I don’t remember who I was yesterday. (grin)

    Also, for myself only, trying to not live in the past is essential for my personal growth.

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  19. Hmmm. I really don’t try to be a downer. I really do believe the best in most people. My initial reaction is that all of us are always changing, always growing, always evolving, if you will. However, that seems somewhat idealistic. I think many people are ever changing. Those are the people I surround myself with.

    But then I think of some of the people I’ve written about in the past. The ones who are walking through life with their eyes closed, ears closed, yelling as loud as they can about how right they are and how wrong others are. Perhaps those are the types of people the quotes were referring to?

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  20. I hear the Rolling Stones for some reason…..

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  21. I believe people who perpetuate the myth that people don’t change are the ones who refuse to change, or refuse to engage in the hard work needed to improve themselves, and better themselves. It’s a cop out. “I can’t change the fact that I’m an asshole, it’s who I am!”

    People – and I so agree with you – can and do change. But beyond that, change in one can be made to happen at will. People are who they want to believe they are. You want to be a rock star? Then by golly go out there and do something amazing! Just fucking do it!

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  22. I completely agree with you. I’ve changed since just this morning. I had about three ‘mind blown’ moments, not all of them were fun. You learn something new everyday. You change, it’s inevitable.

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  23. Of course people change. It’s impossible not to feel the influence of whatever you do, whoever you meet and so on. But I think this quote wants to point out more that the people you meet will probably act differently than what they really are and then, over time, the mask starts falling away. It might be more like you’re acting nice and happy to people you don’t know, but the better you know them, the more you may say what you really think and so on.

    Recently I have started feeling this change you speak of very hard. Due to the people I’ve met, I started having troubles trusting them. Whenever I try to meet up with someone, there will always be the thought that they won’t show up or will turn out to be not trustworthy. This is for a part to protect myself of disappointments, but I guess it’s better not always to think people will let you down one way or another. It’s a bit confusing sometimes, change.

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  24. The secret is to grow, adapt, expand, but all the while retain that critical core part of you that you were when you were young and open to everything.

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  25. If I hadn’t changed and evolved I wouldn’t appreciate the person I’ve become.

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  26. People change. We go through so many changes that we cannot remain same. It’s impossible.Very nicely written,TD.
    That FB quote is written to get “like”s from a few people who do not see change in others.

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  27. …and narcissists. Once they reveal themselves, there’s no going back.

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  28. I’ve mellowed somewhat.
    Whether or not that is a good thing remains to be seen.

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  29. I’ve definitely changed. I think there are some core aspects of my personality (weirdness, morbidness etc) that have been the same since I was a young child but the way I handle situations, approach life, and think of myself is about as different from a few years ago as it could ever be.

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  30. I’m thinking of how terrifying it would have been if I hadn’t changed from the impulsive “because it seems like a good idea” type to the more responsible parent type when my son was born. Everybody and thing changes. I’ve changed a lot just in the last year, hell in the last month even. Life will do that to you. I just like to hope I’m always heading for a better change.

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  31. I’ve changed. Many times. Some changes are little. On the surface. Some are major. I think the only people who don’t over a long period of time are not right upstairs. You know? Like sociopaths.

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  32. We all change, and we should change. And speaking of change, one thing a lot of us should change about ourselves is to stop posting meaningless quotes on Facebook.

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  33. The only change that is constant is change, complete with credit is at my desk…shhh. In work, it is a quote that I live by…I have something related but not choked up in a post…zero confidence to say it.

    The quote that I cry BS is that there is someone for everyone…;-)

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  34. I think the “essential you” may not change so much through life’s experiences. For instance, a person who felt abandoned as a child may learn to trust others, but there will always be a small voice somewhere in the back of their head telling them they may not be good enough. Someone who is essentially greedy as a person may learn to share a bit more, but they may always “secretly” want to keep things to themselves. We all grow & adapt to what life throws our way but in a way still true to our “essential self”

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  35. Although I’m rather late to this post, I still concur.

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