Resolutions, Reforming and Running From Your History

New Year’s is nearly upon us and many people start thinking of resolutions to make. Resolutions can be about anything, but often resolutions are focused on some form of personal improvement – be it physical, spiritual or mental. People want to change for the better and while we often joke about the failure to carry through on resolutions, people do successfully change for the better. I saw a quote recently from Anne Bronte that stated, “It is never too late to reform, as long as you have the sense to desire it and the strength to execute your purpose.”

I wonder, though, if that is possible in today’s world. People bring up something someone said when the person was young or over a decade ago and imply that those words are what the person really believes even today. Social media enables the research, but the core issue is do people really believe other people can change. If people believe that the past is who someone is today, then people must also believe no one can ever change. No one can go from being a persecutor of a cause to the most prolific advocate of that cause. No one can rise from failure as a young adult to being a leader to stop tyranny in the world. No one can go from joining a profession because it is about numbers and turn into a prolific writer who produced over 400 blogs.

I do believe people can change and I also believe that the only way to change is to have a discussion. That means people need to be willing to share thoughts, words and beliefs, but doing so makes one vulnerable. If people are attacked for asking insensitive questions because they do not know any better, then no one will ever be able to change. In order to really make society better, we have to change the way people pile on in social media. Instead of sitting back and being relieved that the trolls are not attacking you, we all need to take action and tell the trolls to go back into their holes and allow people to have open, honest, learning conversations, because that is the only way people will change and make the world a better place.

Maybe that is the resolution we all need to make for 2019.

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