So my sister and I are watching Survivor this one Saturday. It’s a lazy day and we are lazy people so we’re totally in our element. We don’t even like Survivor but again, it’s a lazy day and we are lazy people so it’s all good. Until this one guy gets dehydrated and it’s bad and he has to be sent off the show, cool. Until I realise that my sister is crying. Actual tears over this guy who’s been kicked off Survivor, this guy that she didn’t know 20 minutes ago.
See, my sister doesn’t cry. She’s just one of those girls. There’s a passage in DH Lawrence’s “Sons and Lovers” that says “Mrs Morel did not cry, she was the kind of woman who it hurt as much as it hurts a man to cry”. Excuse the sexism in the statement, it was a different time but that passage might as well just have been written for Nkosilothando Rethabile Ncube.
So when this girl, who doesn’t cry, who it hurts as much as it hurts as it hurts a man to cry was crying-over a stranger-on TV, I was a little thrown. I remember telling her she had gone soft- I mean a full on evolution. And if she can go from Mrs Morel to Miss Cries Over Strangers on TV then there’s hope for everybody else.
I don’t know what you are trying to evolve into or what you are trying to evolve from but my point is it’s possible. Whatever personal traits you want to change about yourself, they are totally changeable. See, I went to a Christian school and so the curriculum didn’t cover Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution so I know next to nothing about it except that evolution is possible. I think evolving from a chimp is a bit of a stretch but do I find the idea of going from one self through a number of selves to get to the self-the version of the self that you want plausible? Absolutely.
So does it matter if your great great great grandparents were orang-utans? No. Frankly, I don’t really care. I don’t think that conversation does anything for anyone. What I’m more interested in is how you progress everyday that you get out of bed. How do you go from Mrs Morel to crying over TV? How much work do you put into getting better each day? Who you are today isn’t necessarily who you will be for the rest of your life. If for one reason or another, you feel shitty about your current self or current state, the good news is, you can be better; you can evolve into something better. It works both ways, even if you feel awesome about yourself right now, it may not last forever if you don’t work at getting even better or at least staying that way.