You often hear this – or overhear this in conversations among family, friends, or any people who have presumably known each other long enough. The accusation is that one party is not behaving exactly like they used to. Or that that the other party feels so whether or not that is a true assessment of the changes exhibited by the observing party.
The problem is multifold. For one, people behave differently under different circumstances. And you may not get to see how someone reacts to certain things being introduced in their lives unless those conditions are met.
Either the observed party always reacts in this “different” way under these conditions that the observer had never seen them go through. Or this new condition is also new to the party being observed, and they don’t really know how to react to this new condition. Which is why they try to do the best they can under circumstances they are not familiar with.
Another problem is that people change. It is part of life. How boring would it be if everyone was the same as you have always known them? Yes, change is difficult to most if not all people. But that does not mean that someone should react the “expected” way to all situations they encounter in life.
One of the common stories you hear is that somebody changed completely after they won huge amounts of money in the lottery. There are many things in life that you can only access to if you have a certain amount of wealth. And it is quite possible that you will not get to acquire everything you wish for lack of money. In which case, you will not be seen doing certain things that you always wanted to do but never had the funds to accomplish them.
And so when you manage to work your way, or luck your way into acquiring the necessary resources to get those things you have always wanted, there is bound to be people around you who will accuse you of being someone completely different from what they knew.
This is not to say that people should not act in a responsible way towards themselves, those around them, and society in general. But before we accuse someone of being bad because they are “different” or someone we “barely recognize anymore” let us make sure that we are not meddling in other people’s affairs and that we should not judge people based on what limited information we have of them.
It is very difficult to know the whole story of someone and why they behave the way they do. Just like nobody knows our full story and we would not like them to judge us.
You know … “do not do unto others what you would not want them to do to you” .. and all that.
So let us be understanding and accommodating of others and realize that it is their life to live. And perhaps examine ourselves to see if we couldn’t or shouldn’t be more supportive.
Peace, love, and understanding before everything else.
Don’t you think?