We meet or are introduced to people, and after a few encounters we understand who they are, and what they’re all about. Unfortunately, there are those who have a strange habit of changing who they are at will, leaving us baffled and confused. For lack of a better word, these type of people are known as “chameleons.” It could be a neighbor down the street, a coworker at the job, or a personality we see on television. Chameleons really don’t have any point of view….they are too busy taking the temperature and seeing which way the wind is blowing to ever stand their ground and take the heat for an opinion. They are easy to spot….they show up at parties and at the beginning of the evening they have one point of view….yet as you are leaving, they say something that is totally the opposite of what you heard earlier. Sadly, if the world was run by chameleons, nothing would ever get done. They would be too busy taking polls and trying to decide what it is they must do, rather than taking a stand for what they believe.

For me personally I have no problem entering a discussion and having someone disagree with me. I can respect their decision and their thoughts…but when I encounter a chameleon, I never know if they are just telling me what they think I want to hear, or are disagreeing with me just to disagree. Chameleons never stay long enough on any opinion to be pinned down.

In any personal or political conflict, when two sides disagree, they negotiate, and hopefully reach an agreement. If a chameleon enters the picture, chaos reigns. After a while both parties get entrenched in confusion, mistrust, and anger. A chameleon can shake your hand, while stabbing you in the back….or, smile right at your face while they are lying. Strangely, a chameleon, while taking no stand, alleviates itself of history, conscience, and predictability. Most of the severe conflicts in life that are not solved, fall prey to chameleons. They are out there…..having no problem causing havoc.
So how do we handle these chameleons? Identify them, and see them for who they are. It is at that point that we must decide whether to walk away, or confront. A chameleon hides in the shadows….but once light is cast in their direction, they run. A chameleon never wants to be exposed. But once they are, they are rendered powerless. Let’s hope that the problems we are facing worldwide are not left in the hands of the chameleons.

Shine a light,
love, Jennifer Avalon
© 2002 Jennifer Avalon

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