True love is like wine, it gets stronger with age.
– Farid F. Ibrahim
“Can people change?”
This is the question I hear most frequently after I speak – one that is asked out of sadness as often as hope. It seems that people are split on people’s ability to change. The fatalists appear resigned to the fact that the stars are cast, whereas the optimists hold hope that humans can achieve better behaviors. Even more interesting, when I ask people about what they want to change, I realize that they are referring to someone else. Rarely do people feel the need to change themselves. Of course, the irony in that is the only person that we can change is ourself. That is no easy task. As mentioned in Chapter 4, “Core Ideology,” Piaget believed that much of our cognitive development was completed by the age of 22 or so. But, what if something important provided the impetus for a change after we achieved full cognitive development? Or, what if the mere passing of time and all that it entails could slowly guide us into new directions?
In the world of wine, the most wondrous moment of change is called veraison (ver-AY-zhun). During veraison, the grapes turn from green to purple. There are so many spectacular metaphors here for our own development. The grape is ripening. It is evolving to become a better vessel for making wine. Its contents become more appealing. Best of all, there is no clear explanation for what precipitates this evolution. It is ...