An old Chinese saying (江山易改本性難移) reminds us that it is very difficult to our nature, that is it easier to change the mountains and the rivers. It is a very pessimistic view of human nature, isn’t it? It seems to be telling us not to bother with personal development and growth. That we are who we are and we will do what we do.
On the days when everything seems to be a struggle and it feels like I’m doing everything wrong, I end up with a feeling of wanting to give up. Why bother? I can’t change who I am. Changing myself is too hard, why try?
But today, I’m going to take that as a challenge. Today I am going to tilt my head and look at this saying with a slightly different perspective.
Difficult doesn’t mean it can’t be done. It just means that it is VERY HARD. So if change is necessary, I will have to hustle and expect challenges, possibly even set backs. In addition, rather than trying to change who I am (swimming upstream, against the current), I should play to my STRENGTHS and see where I can go with the flow (like waterfalls).
So, while changing my nature is hard when necessary, harder than moving mountains and rivers, I’ll remember that I can either work hard at it or find a solution that isn’t against my nature.
By the same token, when parenting, sometimes we are trying to mold our children, against their nature… as children… as humans… This is a reminder that changing is hard. It takes time. And maybe there is a different way.