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Posts Tagged ‘Leopard Can’t Change Its Spots’

True Colors

In Life Lessons, Pursuit of Happiness on March 12, 2010 at 5:09 pm

There are a lot of things to like about social networking from both a business and a personal standpoint.  Social networking gives us the chance to reconnect with people that we have lost touch with, meet new people and even explore new business opportunities.  Because of social networking, the world has become a much smaller place.  When I first started social networking, it was new and fun, and there was a honeymoon period where everyone seemed to get along.  But there are negatives to social networking as well.  Once the honeymoon period ends, and the novelty wears off, people tend to let their true colors shine through.

It is said that “a leopard can’t change its spots” when referring to the resistance that many people have to change.  Personally, I believe that a more accurate statement would be “most leopards have no desire to change their spots.” Ironically, the things that may have drawn you to someone at one time, often times are the very things make you realize your differences, especially when one person changes.

It would be easy to blame withering relationships on others for not wanting to change their spots, but it would not be fair to do so.  The truth of the matter is that the person that is willing to change is more likely to blame for any parting of the ways.  I readily admit that I am working on making changes in my life.  In fact, Waldo2010 is mostly about chronicling the changes that I am attempting to make.  Some have been successful.  Some have not.  Maybe the desired changes that haven’t happened yet will happen in the future.  Maybe they won’t.  Either way, it is my personal journey, so the only one that I can let down by failing is myself (and to some degree – my family).

Over the past few years, even before I discovered social networking, it became apparent to me that some friends of the past are likely to be nothing more than acquaintances going forward.  While some of the fading friendships have been caused by specific events, others have been caused by nothing more than people showing their true colors (myself included).   I realize that there are things about me that others may not appreciate.  Those very same traits, however, also draw other people to me.  As the saying goes…“one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

Rather than bemoan the fading friendships, I prefer to look at the positives of gravitating towards more like-minded people.  With April right around the corner, many people will soon be doing their spring cleaning.  For some, spring cleaning is about restoring the aesthetic appeal to the outside of their home.  For others, it is an opportunity to de-clutter the inside of their home.  For me, spring cleaning will be a bit more metaphorical, as I sort through the people and things that matter most to me, and make changes accordingly.

There are only so many hours in the day, and there is no sense in spending precious time trying to convince leopards to change their spots.   My spots are changing, so I expect that my relationships will as well.  I’ve accepted the fact that my changes may very well mean that more friends will be reduced to acquaintances in the future.  On the bright side, in the future, I will have more time to spend developing the relationships with people who share the same vision as me.  Though it can be disappointing to see someone’s true colors, it can also be a blessing in disguise.  It’s all a matter of perspective.

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