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Why Don't You Change?

We make it seem like it's so easy for people to change. Stop drinking, stop smoking, stop taking drugs, stop being so depressed, stop being such an idiot, be white, be tall, be slim. We have so many demands for other people. When people don't change, we think that they could change if they really wanted to, they're just not trying. If it's so easy to change, why do we want other people to change and not ourselves?

Whatever we are on the inside is what we create on the outside. We are happiest when people look like us, have the same beliefs as us, and do the same things we like to do. This is how the human mind works. If something or someone isn't how we think it should be, then we try to shape it into what we think it or they should be. We spend our whole lives trying to make people into us.

Each time we ask someone to change, we are being selfish. We are demanding that they change who they are because we don't like them the way they are. Who are we to decide how someone else should be? We do not know why someone exists. We do not know what people have gone through in life to make them the way they are. We don't know what someone has to learn in life and that being the way they are, no matter how awful we think they are, isn't exactly the way they need to be in order to learn those lessons. When we ask people to change, we may be destroying their very being.

We do this because it is easier to believe that everyone else is the problem, when in fact, the problem is us. We can't change other people, we can only change ourselves. It is much easier for us to change than it is to change other people. For us to change we only have to change one thing: our perception of the other person. Once we change our perception of the other person, we start liking them exactly the way they are. Think about it, we may not like someone but there are other people who do. What's different about the way you think about that person and the way other people think about them? It's all about perception. It's all about the labels we put on people. It's all about the kind of thoughts we think about that person. All of those things has to do with us, not them.

When we ask someone else to change it never ends. It starts with wanting them to change one thing, then we think of something else that they need to change and insist that they change that, then we think of something else that they need to change and insist that they change that and so on and so on. Eventually, the original person is gone and we are left with a carbon copy of ourselves and we still won't be satified because most of us don't like ourselves. We love whittling away at other people until there is nothing left. We want them to be the same colour as us, have the same religion as us, the same beliefs about what is right and what is wrong, the same values, the same dress code, the same this, the same that.

When people are different from us, we don't like them. The more different they are from us, the more we don't like them. The more we wish they wouldn't dress the way they do, wear their hair the way they wear it, talk the way they do, do the things that they do and so on and so on. If someone won't change what we want them to change then we punish them in some way. We may not think of it as punishment when we don't speak to people, turn our noses up at them or exclude them from our private clubs etc but it is. It's our way of saying, you are not the same as us so stay away.

We can like everyone we meet if we really wanted to. All we have to do is let go of our shoulds.
Sometimes we have shoulds that we don't even know we have. White people exclude black people from things because black people should be white but they aren't. Rich people exclude poor people from things because they should be rich. Some people exclude bikers from things because they should be less rugged looking. Young people exclude seniors from things because they should be young. We have endless shoulds. Endless justifications for treating people the way that we do. The problem isn't them, the problem is us.

The way to fix other people is to fix ourselves. We can change the filters that we see them through. Changing the filters we are looking through allows us to view everyone as an equal. It allows us to accept people just the way they are and not demand that they change so we will like them more.

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