Thursday, December 28, 2006

Just as Lent follows Carnival, the New Year's resolutions seem to follow after the feasting and overindulges of the Christmas season. At least they do for me - but I'm one of those people who loves to make new year's resolutions - even when last year's didn't stick.

I was thinking about my resolutions and I started to think about an issue that I seem to keep to returning to again and again as I get older: do people really change at all?

And while there are occasions when people change because of a change of status (becoming tyrannical with a gain power or becoming depressed with a loss of influence) or a change of fortune (the winning of a lottery or the death of a loved one) I am beginning to think that a change in personality this has less to do with the individual involved and more about the group that surrounds that individual.

For example, a teenager begins to run with "the wrong crowd". A rural, middle class woman marries into snooty, high society. A lonely man seeks solace of a religious faction that in time, encourages him to leave his few non-believer friends and family. Can you guess what happens next in these scenarios? I think you can - they are practically cliches.

I'm not how I am going to work this revelation into my new year's resolutions. No one else is going to help me to clean the basement.

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