One of the greatest things about being in a relationship with a person for a long time is having the privilege to watch the growth of a person. I think in general we tend to assume that human beings are static. We see a person and the person’s characteristics and flaws, and we take it for granted that he or she will never change – “you know him, he’s like this” or “that’s just who she is.” We always forget that we are all works in progress, not final products, and we never could be.
I think that’s why people are fascinating and constantly disappointing, because we face so many opportunities and choices every day to redefine who we are and to stick to our paths or try new things, which is why the choices of a particular person says a lot about him or her. (A very Dumbledoresque sentiment.)
Yet, people are also disappointing because life contains so much potential – potential for change, for growth, for improvement, but it’s usually easier to stay the way we are, to be unthinking, unreflective. To do nothing about our leopard spots.
So I guess the best thing we can do is to always consider ourselves works in progress, to remember that we have the capacity for growth, and to grant others the same allowances.