If there is anything more difficult than learning, it must be unlearning.
Everything we know, we gained through experience; either our own or the experiences of others in our environment. So we are the product of our surroundings, an accumulation of lessons learned through a lifetime of situations and decisions, molding our personalities and making us who we really are. Therefore, unlearning is like tearing a part of you and throwing it away. It’s hard, painful and not at all comfortable.
Occasionally, we are faced with the situation of being in a completely unfamiliar place, inhabited by people leading an entirely different lifestyle than ours…and we are expected to forget everything we know and live, act and sometimes even think exactly like them. All under the term “adjusting”.
People don’t like what’s different. That’s human nature. Humans find comfort in familiarity; they strive to build walls to protect their safe zone, hence the rejection of “intruders”. Faced by this, a new comer finds himself in a dilemma; he wants to be accepted, to adjust and get rid of all the unwanted attention. On the other hand he doesn’t want to lose his personality, character and principles…things that make him, he does not want to unlearn.
The decision?
That depends on the person himself; if he owns the virtue of flexibility, it’s usually easier for him to get used to the new surroundings, and soon he will be an entirely different person. After all, unlearning does remove parts of you, but only to replace them with others and make you a new person. Who knows, maybe it’s a new-and-improved version, depending on the new surroundings.
As for stubborn people who are uncomfortable with change; it could take them forever to adjust, and they might never do. They are too proud, too connected with their past to let go. Their past experiences are integral parts of their being. They simple cannot afford to lose them. For if they do, who would they be?
The best group, in my opinion, is the people who adjust, but not entirely. They draw the line at every act that does not agree with their beliefs and what they were raised to believe right. But they have no problem with any other aspects in the new place. Those are the “winning group”.
What do think? In what group would you fit?