To Sir With Love - Change

Change: Man's ability to adapt his thinking

In the novel To Sir With Love various human characteristics are
portrayed. Of these, the idea that humans are able to adapt and change
their way of thinking seems to be demonstrated throughout the story. In the
novel, both the teacher, Braithewaite, and his students end up going
through many changes that ultimately result in their coming to change their
way of thinking about each other. In life, as in this fictionalized
account, the ability to adapt to the world around one's self is a very
important trait. In my own life, this has occured on many occasions. Thus,
it can be said that to be able to change and adapt ourselves and our ways
at looking at things to our to our situations we are truly at advantage.

In the story, Braithewaite begins with a set of preconceived ideas about
his students. He expects them to be unintelligent, rough, racially
intolerant children with no future-hardly deserving of his respect. But, as
he sees later, they are are the total opposites of his of his initial
ideas. This is gradually shown through their actions, such as such as the
students all going to visit the house of their black friend during his
crisis, or their learning to treat each other with respect;they learned to
address each other as their last names, inthe case of the boys, and "Miss",
for the girls. For the students,they learned to respect and really learn
from their teacher,something they had never cared to do before.
Braithewaite helped them to break out of the the pattern of intolerance and
roughness that society had placed them in. They began to respect themselves
and then to respect others. In short, it was obvious that both the teacher
and his students were able to adapt their way of thinking to their
advantage;they did not get stuck in their original set of preconceived
notions about each other. This is a key point of the novel, this idea that
people can change their ways.

In my own experiences, I have ended up changing my ways as I have become
wiser. One example would be my relationship with my older sister. As a
child, I constantly fought with her over everything and never tried tried
to get to understand her. Gradually, though, as I grew older, I learned to
accept and to understand her. Now, though we still argue about a lot of
things, I feel my relationship with her has improved and I am beginning to
understand her. This has taken a complete change in my way of looking at
her;I now look at her as a nice person with much to offer me, rather than
as my evil sister.This has been a true example of my being able to change
my way of thinking towards an individual. The concept of man being able to
alter his ways is a crucial element to his living in a society such as
ours. All of us must learn to accept individual hardships, and all of us
must be able to adapt to our ever-changing world. World leaders must adjust
their way of thinking about an evolving third world country, or a growing
superpower. An employee must adapt to be able to perform his job adequetly.
All of us have had to gradually adapt in order to live together as a
relatively cohesive, well ordered society. It is clear that nothing remains
constant in our world of change except change itself. It is our ability to
learn and to adapt our ways that has brought humans as far forward as they
are today. As a species, we have gone from living as naked savages to
relatively living as relatively civilized individuals. This would never
have been possible had it not been for our ability to change our ways of
thinking. For humans, then, it is our ability to change that has put us
where we are today and is our key to further advancement, both as societies
and as people.