I won’t keep this particular theme going too much longer but feel compelled to write a wee bit about what, I hope, may be the end of a very long road. And there, in my cautiousness, you see one of the problems I would still like to overcome as I have overcome much else that life has thrown at me. To put it more succinctly, I should have more confidence in myself. Which brings me to my point about a particular cliché; the one about the leopard not being able to change its spots.
In its simplistic form, it may appear to be true although, as the spots came about via evolution, presumably they could, over many, many years, mutate into some other form of skin pigmentation. In reality though, the saying is about people not being able to change, something that is simply not so. The cliché is, like many others, an attempt to justify a particular type of behaviour; one of the least appealing is represented in another cliché, “It never did me any harm”. This latter, in my experience, used to justify chastising children, sending them away to boarding school or any of the other harms that adults inflict on young people. It would appear to me to be self evident that, as you can’t know what might have happened in other circumstances, you also can’t know whether any particular course of action ever did you any harm or not. The saying is often, like many others, an attempt to justify what we want to do anyway.
Now, as someone who has changed somewhat over the years, I have to say that it has been very life affirming experience. It has also been a challenge although one with a very positive outcome. I used to view my behaviour through a prism that enabled me to see my actions in a certain, self justifying, light. Yes, I may have had a temper, but what you got in exchange was someone who would try to do anything for you. Well, the latter, I hope, is still the same although the former has, largely, gone. The result is that, apart from the fact that I no longer expect people to put up with the bad behaviour, I feel much better about myself. Coincidence? Again, I think not.