I debated a unique thought process with a mentor of mine recently. It forced us to challenge our philosophy regarding personal development and age. The idea that with age, we mature and increase wisdom is commonly accepted. As much as I agree with that logic, is progression similarly applicable in manners of human behavior, personality and spirit as we grow? We manifested an unorthodox theory that I think has legitimacy enough to debate. The initial conversation revolved around the question if drastically changing a personality was a good thing, verses staying true to a person’s identity. We came to a conclusion that required some profound meditation.
The theory is this, when we come into this world, we’re pure, untainted, we live without any negative learned behavior (hate, resentment, greed, etc.). Just as Robert Frost wrote in 1923 poem Nothing Gold Can Stay, “Natures first green is gold”. Green meaning new, fresh, and beginning. Gold representing precious, beautiful, and valuable. He finishes the poem with “Nothing Gold can stay”. As children, we interacted with the world without painful experiences and prejudices what we’ve developed as adults. As we age we are exposed to the world. As humans are inherently flawed, the stimulus we get from an adverse world leads to de-sensitivity, angst, skepticism, and personal deterioration. Our lives just tarnish. Compounded experiences collected over a lifetime forms a downward projection. This is our naturally intended path.
So this exposure to our own nature callous us and creates this “garbage personality”. Wear and tear of the soul per se. The exception to this declining trajectory is intervention. Someone or something at many points in our life will present itself and allow us to recognize, educate, and correct that descending slope. As soon as that intervention, whether its luck or our own intention, impacts us we stop and reflect on our lives subjectively and from an outside perspective we can correct that natural direction. We can develop a new causeway by changing the effect of negative circumstances. The paradox of this is if we can “deviate” that path, the change we make has to be good. I think that concept is very intriguing. Our established path is to wear down, deviation is routinely used and identified as a negative connotation. Like a true double negative, it creates a positive. If we break the norm of our projection, we become better.
Think of it as in a linear graph. Time on one axis and personality on the other. As time increases, a hardening personality plunges. The intervention can reverse that plunge. Even allowing for it to correct and increase. This increase would be a deviation of normal expectation and attributed to alteration of how we allow life to affect us. How does this apply to my parenting niche? The intervention aspect. Intervention is the variable in which we can correct ourselves. That can present itself in multiple platforms; religion, education, mentorship, a certain book or positive experience, and (drumroll) PARENTAL INFLUENCE. First off, as I mention in my article “Do not stand in silence” presence and involvement are the most critical factors in deviating our children’s instinctive affected personality. Providing guidance, lending advice from experience, maintaining a positive example, bestowing a hard to defeat mindset, and offering aid when the barrage of life is impinging are all ways that we as parents can set our children for success.
Losing who we are is just bound to happen when we make conscious decisions to improve. Who says ditching the decline is a bad choice? This is just one way to look at age and reaction to stimulus. A lot can be contended with whether greed, pride, and negative virtues are more naturally generated than say empathy, patience, and kindness. I’m simply offering one perspective of thought. There’s a dichotomy to this entire theory. Regardless of where you stand on the debate, one thing ill say for sure; try to stay golden, Pony Boy.