Is it possible to erase a person’s past? As long as there are associates who remember events as they happened, there is bound to be someone who can dredge up information about each person’s character traits and their acts of commission or omission.
Does this mean that we should rely on our past actions and experiences to define who we are today? I’m inclined to say that this should be a matter for each individual to consider and make decisions about.
Perhaps the key issue here is that we should have the right to decide what we’re about in our lives as we move from moment to moment. The current Nigerian President for example, had a controversial past in his role as a military dictator. With the help of able spin doctors, he was able to reinvent his public image, to be seen as a progressive democrat by many who were either not born or too young to know what he was like in the 1980s.
This thought leads me to the question – can a leopard change its spots? Maybe it can, on a surface level, with the help of cosmetic amendments.
It is also possible to change one’s view of the world and to invest energy in transforming one’s thought processes and actions, to bring about personal growth. But there are deeply ingrained features that are bound to remain part of our beings for as long as we live. Maybe those who are disillusioned with the Nigerian President’s style should remember this basic fact – We can only be ourselves in the long run.