A Leopard Can’t Change His Spots – Until he …

They say,” a leopard can’t change its spots”. We use this phrase when referring to other people and ourselves. This phrase in most contexts is used to express/explain that no one can change their innate nature. Or that it’s impossible for one to change their character, even if they will try very hard.

Now, I don’t believe we can’t change our spots and this post is all about that. So please read my thoughts on the subject. I also ask you read to the end, as there is another meaning to this metaphor and it wise, sensible and valid from the Bible (which you might already know about).

Photo by Harvey Sapir on Pexels.com

I have taken the Myers Briggs MBTI- test in many a workplace, which breaks us down into four personality type. Knowing our personality types and our teams’ personality types allows us to work better together. It also allows us to develop our lesser-used personality types, proving we can change our “spots”. To find out more about Myer Briggs click here.

We can change our “spots” if we want to. We can learn or unlearn many things in life.   

We may have a default position that we may revert to again and again, but we can change certain personal traits of ourselves one day with effort and hard work. Lessons will repeat in life until we learn the lesson. If we fail to understand or change, then yes, those “spots” on I the leopard will not change. Most of us want to improve and become those with good characters, don’t we?

Let’s think of this another way. I the “Soul”, the spiritual being of light, the “being” in the phrase Human “Being”. The original qualities of the Soul are Peace, Purity, Love, Wisdom and Joy. But, through the birth and death cycle and changing many bodily costumes, I the Soul have acquired negative qualities of Anger, Attachment, Lust, Ego and Greed, to name a few. These new negative habits/personalities have been learnt over time. We are Points of Pure, Peaceful, Loving, Kind, Wise and joyous light. This the true nature of the Being of the phrase Human Being. We are not this body; we are the life that brings this body to life. In this case, we have stepped down from our goodness. But, the good news we can return /revert to our goodness again.

I believe we change from peace to anger or from anger to peace. Or from faith to fear, or fear to faith. We can improve, we can return to our original goodness, or we can remain in a negative cycle. We can learn when the lesson that repeats, or we can stay stuck. We can change the spots on the leopard if we want to.   

But, one thing we can not do is change the spots of another leopard. Here we have to change ourselves and our response. Or learn not to be disturbed. Learn to say to our mind and heart, “do not disturb”, that is, do not be disturbed by the other leopard who has reverted to their hurtful, selfish ways. Always keep your peace and staying wise, and wish that leopard well. Because the law of attraction will send to us whatever we think! So think good always to attract good.

Whilst researching the phrase on google I came across this from theidioms.com website.

The origin comes from the Bible, where the King James Version of Jeremiah 13:23 talks about evil people doing good when the Leopard can change his spots. “Quoted from the Bible “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.” Jeremiah 13:23 (King James Version). The reference is towards the fact that those who are evil will not do good and vice versa. Due to its biblical origin, this phrase is more affiliated with good and evil in literary context. Source: theidioms.com

The Bible’s explanation is fascinating, and I read it as a warning, guidance not to be foolish and trust a person who may have deceived you or done harm to you in the past. As much as I like to think we can all improve and change, there are some that we need to be wary of. Coming back to the point I made up above about the original qualities of the Soul. We all have good in us; however, the percentages are different.  And this is where wisdom needs to be employed in daily living.

What are your thoughts on this topic?

I really believe we can improve our character and personality and return to our goodness. At the same time, the Bible verse holds a lot of truth.

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References : Google theidioms.com , otherwise all my random thoughts.

Image Acknowledgement

I use images from many sources: http://www.freeimages.com, instagram, google, created myself, canva.com, pixel, pixabay

24 replies

  1. This is a very interesting discussion. I believe either we are operating from our unconscious patterns or conscious choice. Our personality is cumulative of that. So I agree with you that we can change our traits, the patterns we work from. Suffering in our life will always give us opportunity to question what is it makes things difficult for us – that is where our drive to change comes from. So even when hurt by others, we can only change something in ourselves that prevents the same from happening, as you rightly said too.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A wonderful post, dear Bella. I completely agree. We can change our “spots”, character, once we know about our character “defects.” As you write these character traits are connected to ego, fear, etc., and are coping mechanisms based on previous iterations of ourselves. When we know about them, we can then notice when they arise, acknowledge them, and respond from a space of the human being we are today, and the human being we want to create. I love this post. Excellent.❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Sooooo much pain and frustration is removed from our lives when we stop trying to make someone else be who WE want them to be, even if we want them to stop hurting themselves. Like Enchanted Seashells said above, they’ve got to want to change.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I believe those negative traits are like dirt and can be washed out. Watching our bad habits arise and then catching them before they erupt is essential to “cleanse” our true nature of ‘goodness’ 🙂

    Great post and stimulating discussion Bella!

    Liked by 1 person

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