Read any article about celebrities and they will tell you how they “keep it real” or how they’ve been accused of “changing.” I find it curious that no one has called out this insult for what it is — pure BS (that would be bull shit*ake mushrooms). Why this is considered an acceptable way to keep someone down is beyond me. I can’t imagine, nor do I want to ponder the thought, of a world where people stayed exactly the same.
If you think about it, you would hate babies for becoming toddlers. You would loathe toddlers becoming kids. You would rail against tweens who took over your precious little boy/girl. Then you’d despise the teen, followed by the young adult, the adult, the middle-aged, and finally the aged. A person’s personality needs to match his/her outside. Experience is a wonderful teacher, and it creates change — mentally, emotionally, and physically.
I work with children daily. Each new interaction, positive or negative, impacts and changes who they are. Adolescence is really important because middle and high school students change all the time. They will “try on” different personas, personalities, and identities. Some will find one path and walk it exclusively, which is OK. Others will shed “identities” like snakes shed skin, which is also OK. Both paths are acceptable. However, should someone step outside the comfort zone of his/her friends, then they are smacked back into line with “You’ve changed!” That’s not OK.
Experience is supposed to shape you, increase your knowledge about the world and how it operates. Interacting with more people, in more situations, and at varying degrees of success builds unique people. To be angry with someone for taking in new ideas and acting on them is ignorant. To “put them in their place” because they’ve changed is as wrong as hating someone for aging. As people, we’re supposed to change, improve (hopefully), make the world better, and pass on our wisdom. Consider it the benefit of free will.
Life is a beautiful journey, but only if you want it to be. For that, you have to be open to change.