When Change Is Needed
Good or bad. Moral or immoral. Benevolent or evil. Compassionate or uncaring. What makes one person one way and another the opposite?
There is the age-old discussion on the relative influence of nature or nurture. When it comes to human behavior – except for mental illnesses, which often result in bad behavior not within a person’s control – I believe that nurture takes the cake. People are not born racists or misogynists or uncaring egotists, but experiences in life from day-one drive them in those directions.
Unawareness is a root part of the issue. For instance, with egotism/narcissism, a substantial part of the problem is that the individual so afflicted does not realize that he/she is captive to self-love and how it affects social relationships. Comparatively, ignorant know-it-alls often believe they know it all. Or drunk people have no idea how ridiculous they appear on the dance floor. So what does society do with, for instance, a person consistently acting immorally who seems to feel it is alright to do so?
Sometimes we just put up with annoying behavior, for instance, extreme narcissism. Other times behaviors might need to be contained if they damage other individuals or the community in general. Facilitating positive change is the difficult task since, as noted, individuals with destructive behavior often do not recognize the need for said change. Lambasting offenders or whipping them (verbally or physically) is virtually never effective. The effort calls for patience, caring, and often multiple strategies in attempts to help facilitate improvement.