Many people want to completely discard their past. They want you to judge them today only by today, not by anything they did in the past. If they had personally harmed you, they usually have a general apology, but one that don't go into many specifics.
On the one hand, I am all in favor of this. No one should have every mistake brought up all the time. We have to be able to work past our past and advance into the future. That said, we cannot completely ignore what we have done in the past if we want to avoid the core of the same problem in the future.
Our basic tendencies and ways of doing things almost always remains the same, even if we change the focus of our lives. Our basic way of responding is likely to be the same. If we were quiet and contemplative, we are unlikely to react quickly and loudly. In the same way, someone who decides not to harm others may still do annoying things if they have an aggressive personality.
We may also find that our decision to "do right" is not built on as firm a foundation as we want to believe. While we may want to do right, we have to change our habits and fill our lives with "good things" before we can be sure to keep the bad habits out.
I find I am knowing that habits and our deep character are different, but I know that many people see them as the same. This is ultimately not correct. I may decide I am not going to try and push you into an action, but I also know that I could push you to "hurry up" if we took a road trip across the country. My desire to not force your decisions would not outweigh my desire to "get moving" when the time to do so came.
I do not see a conflict with this. I am all for people changing and think that is the only way we will find our way out of many modern troubles, but I also know that such change will have to take into account that we are still the same people.
This brings us back to my starting thought. You cannot completely ignore your past. If you try to do so, you will not account for important elements in your own current actions and behaviors. You are still you. This means you must make sure you deal with those core issues, not just ignore them.
All of us want to be past our past problems and mistakes, but make sure you don't set yourself up to repeat them because you never recognize a core personality trait!
A character trait is based on doing good or bad and can be changed. A personality trait will always be with you and must be considered. Character traits can also be more persistent than we realize. Acknowledge the character traits so you can see the warning signs that you are about to repeat them. Acknowledge the personality trait so you can learn to keep it controlled, but realize you will never eliminate it without eliminating who you are.
In the same manner, realize when someone's personality trait is coming up and don't get offended. Work with them to find a way to funnel it properly rather than rejecting them. This will help you all relate in a much more effective manner.