Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I'm opinionated - you don't say!

I can be argumentative, self righteous and opinionated. If I believe in something or someone strongly enough, I'll fight to the death. I had a very heated conversation with one of hubby's friends yesterday (actually I often have these strong discussions with his mates)

Our discussion last night came from watching Conviction Kitchen - which for any that haven't seen the show, is about a group of people with criminal convictions who are given the opportunity to turn their lives around, learn the skills of working in a restaurant and get off the criminal merry-go-round.

My argument was that any person can change if they want to. Okay so maybe I have a romantic view on things and I've been told more than once to take off the rose coloured glasses. But I still believe strongly that anyone can mess up and still make good with their lives.

His opinion is that no-one can change, that a person is what they are born and that it's an inborn trait, it's part of their genetic make up and once they've stuffed up they will always stuff up. For such an intelligent man (and he is) I find this the most closed minded comment I have ever heard. What a sad and sorry state this world would be if everyone had this opinion.

If everyone believed that there was no hope of changing themselves and their lives, and they were what they were born - then we wouldn't have the Oprah's and Albert Einsteins etc etc in the world today.

My belief and I will fight him to the death on this one, is that anyone can change their lives or themselves if they want something bad enough. Anyone can mess up, once, twice or numerous times and still have the capacity to change and turn their lives around.

I do agree that the person who continually makes the same mistakes will not change, but only as long as they believe that they can't.

What are your thoughts on this subject - are we all doomed by our genetics or do all of us have the capacity to change, no matter what our circumstances if we are prepared to make the changes necessary.


  1. I believe in attachment theory which says that how our early years affect our genetics is the patterns we tend to follow. Whether that's over-cautious, or highly-driven or criminal. I have a great sense of my own patterns but am aware of how my conscious decision to over-ride them becomes more difficult if not impossible (with temper, for example) when I am under stress.And that is the problem, with all the will in the world, unless we have proper knowledge and support it's too easy to repeat those patterns continuously and extra-ordinarily difficult to break them. I

  2. Karyn, maybe he needed to put it in terms like that, because when I read what you say it makes sense.

    Probably the thing I didn't write in my post is that I know sometimes we need assistance to help us change, as you point out, but it's not impossible - which is how he made me feel.

    Thank you for helping me to see this clearer

  3. i have watched the whole series of conviction kitchen ,and could see the lives that some of these people had ,simply by watching how they walked ,talked etc;
    and some i believe are born more equal than others
    and for those affected by the generational disease of addiction or alcoholism ,life can be more difficult ,as social skills are not something that are on offer to be learnt in the family home (if there is a family home)
    and so i have nothing but admiration and encouragement for people who are 'out there' trying there best to create a life for themselves, that has previously been unavailable to them ,due to the facts of the families that they were born into
    not everybody has the capacity to be able to leave their past behind and move forward with their lives in a positive and permanent way
    and for those who do ,you have my gracious congratulations
    because to my mind you show more strength and determination of character than many others will ever have the capacity or joy to experience
    and to all of you who can ,well done


Everyone has something valuable to say and I would love for you to share your thoughts