New Philosopher

Can you change who you are?

In the last decade of his life my Canadian father-in-law became so averse to change that he would not contemplate moving a piece of furniture from one side of the room to the other. I know that elderly people can get this way – stubborn, fixed – but I didn’t believe it of him: in younger days he would change when the wind did.

He joined the army to travel the world, left it to climb the ranks in advertising (a practice predicated on persuading people to change), then dropped out to sail the Greek islands for a year. In France, he bought a share in a chateau/B&B; in Holland he launched a cookie business; and he ate his way around

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