Saving Throwaway People
I've queried a dozen friends and the oracle (Google) twenty different ways. I wanted to know if people can change. Can they flip from someone who can’t be trusted to someone who absolutely can? I've concluded that the answer is a firm maybe. I'm simplifying here but it depends on the environment, the circumstances, the people they're surrounded with and the sheer will and self-control of the individual; not necessarily in that order.
Therapist Mira Kirshenbaum says that (paraphrasing) you can change behavior, but you can't change character. It sounded logical when I read it but I've never really been able to completely separate the two enough to use that as a guideline. So, here's the dilemma:
How do you know when to write someone off because they'll never change enough to be worthy of being in your world?
You have to go with your gut. Listen to their story, find out what they care about, what they've learned & how their situation has changed and then decide if you can take the risk.
But what if you don't know the person at all? Like an ex-convict, or a homeless person, or a drug addict. Why would you even listen to their story to decide if you want to trust them again? Where is your incentive to take the risk? Why not just throw them away and forget about them?
Because no one deserves to be thrown away.
When you stop caring about the lost, misguided, or sick people those people stop caring about anything at all.