The potential for a conflict lies in differences between two individual entities. This is what makes life sweet and sour, and of course, different.(Yeah, I was thinking of the Maggi tomato ketchup ad) Imagine an extreme alternative: you have a constant companion who agrees to everything you say, wears the same kind of clothes, likes the same food, reads the same books, does the same job and so on and so forth. How predictable and how boring!
Even identical twins develop their own tastes. I have been fortunate enough to befriend a pair in my high school. I could also tell them apart- which was almost an impossible task for others. When I started noting the subtle differences they had- like their voice modulation, or their choice of spectacle frames, it was a piece of cake. Of course, I didn't divulge my little secret to the rest of my classmates then; I let myself bask in the reflected glory of their marvel.
When you start acknowledging the differences you have, you begin to learn to avoid unnecessary conflicts, and save a lot of unpleasantness. Though it is difficult sometimes: an aberrant behavior in your books might outrightly disgust you- like a child being rude to his/her parents, or pedophilia. But when you analyze, even though you might not accept it, you might see the reason why.
I believe that when you begin to value one relationship, you begin to respect other relations too. A near one might have been brought up with a different value system than you were. And that can influence his/her behavioral patterns considerably- if not solely. We see ourselves changing in a relation to accommodate the other. The other one undergoes changes too, we just don't observe them closely as we do ourselves and hence miss them out partially or completely.
Sometimes the changes are not even tangible, visible change. How do you map a thought process? I believe that I have become a lot more positive about my general outlook towards life and a lot more understanding, a little less aggressive and quick to show my temper. The outward manifestation (the later two) are more perceptible than the former two, which I believe are the causes. Not necessarily it has been imposed upon me by someone else, nor is it an improved version of Aparna Kar in every aspect. It is because I choose to be different. In my current lifestyle, aggression amounts to unprofessionalism. And I don't want to confuse it with assertiveness.
There are numerous other factors that can make you a different human being than you started with. Life acquaints you with some. Others you acquire by observation. Does it mean you can love your previous self more or less than your current self? I don't think so. When I look back and read the old pages of my blog sometimes, I get back in touch with the kind of person I was. Sometimes I feel jealous of my own self and covet the naivety. At others, I simply feel amused or even reverent. Whatever the difference lies : you with your own self or with an external being, it's best to acknowledge it. And work on it where it's necessary.
Quote of the day:
A beautiful relationship does not depend upon how good we understand someone but on how well we avoid misunderstandings.
Plus, something from Mark Gungor to understand differences better, with a little chortle if you may.