Religious Converts and Personality Change
Change is an instrumental phenomenon in life. Change happens everywhere and for several purposes. Whereas there are those who easily embrace change, there are others who are always reluctant to changes. One important aspect of change is the kind of change that happens to people and why people experience those changes. To this effect, change in behavior is identified as a very controversial; thus an important change in the life of a person. Because the behavior or character of people are very instrumental in giving them their identity, much attention has been paid by reviewers and researches on why the behavior of people change. There seem to be two major schools of thought as far as the changes talked about here are concerned. The first school of thought relates behavioral changes to religious conversions whereas the second school of thought hold the view that it is possible to have personality without any direct or indirect relation to religious conversion.
On the first school of thought that argues that religious conversion is the major anchor behind people’s personality, there exists the argument that religion comes with several rules and regulations that actually enshrine people to live their lives within certain means and conduct. In almost all major religions of the world including Islam, Christianity and Judaism, there are known strict rules that must be followed by religious followers. Most of these laws spell how the need to give up certain behavior that are generally seen in the eyes of the world as unacceptable. They are also expected to live exemplary lives that are devoid of coax, violence and confusion. At the time of religious conversion, therefore, new converts try very hard to adhere strictly to these laws. By and large, their personality becomes affected because a person’s personality constitutes what the person repeatedly does (Ababio, 2004). Because religious change in the lives of such people eventually results in change in their personality, this first school of thought hold the view that change is personality is caused by religious conversion; or strictly influenced by it.
In the opinion of commentators for the second school of thought, change does not need religious conversion to occur. They are of the opinion that change in a person’s personality may be sourced to several sociological and human factors other than religion. This line of thinkers is commonly referred to as modern-day personality change thinkers. In modern-day personality change, there is the belief that there are several factors that can bring about change in a person other than religion. An example may be sighted with two simple examples which are economic difficulty and status achievement. In the first instance, people may generally change their views towards life and the way they do things when they begin facing economic changes. It is no secret that economic challenges are commonly associated with a state of carefulness in spending social involvements. Therefore as a person begins to change his or her trend of purchasing and so on, the person gradually becomes taunted as adopting a new personality. The second instance also holds when a person assumes a new status in life such as political leadership. In fact, such status often comes with the pressure on the people involved to live their lives in conformity with certain standing. As these new adaptation takes place, the people involved gradually experiences changes in their personality because the new changes eventually becomes part of them.