Are you considered a hypocrite when you’re nice to everyone?
Am I being too naive when I say I’d rather be nice to everyone than be selective on who I’m supposed to be nice to?
Maybe it’s because I’ve come to realize that as an adult, you cannot help but learn on how to network yourself. Maybe it’s because one of the greatest pleasures in life is the ability to learn from the different types of people that you come across in your day-to-day activities.
Or maybe it’s because you’ll never know when that acquaintance or friend will prove to be useful or helpful in the future.
I suppose I’m asking this question because I was caught in a moral dilemma recently. There was an external voice, in the form of a friend, who said (in passing) that she’d rather be alone than be surrounded by people she’s not familiar with. Although I’ll have to agree with her to a certain extent, I cannot help but wonder if that’s a smart life decision.
Yes, you will be surrounded with people you like and trust. However, how will you ever learn about how humans are when you don’t allow yourself the opportunity to meet new people, regardless of their backgrounds? Some people will be annoying, some just plain rude, some will be really lovely and some barely human. However, all these people deserve a chance. Choosing to interact with people only because you’re forced to due to external reasons and then deciding later on whether you will be friends with them (because they are conveniently there) is just…not productive, in my opinion.
Today, I had an impromptu coffee chat with my ex-boss. He’s a lovely man who, during his stay with my company, has taught me many things about tolerance, patience, and the power of speaking only when you have something important to contribute to.
My friendship with him did not come without negative whispers from other colleagues. In a world where academia is supposed to generate ideas that are meant to help the future generation, the level of office politics that occurs within the academic walls will put the profession to shame. When egos are at stake, some individuals cannot help but feel like they deserve more even if it means they will have to lie for it.
That was what happened. Some lied. And the liars were not happy that my ex-boss was giving opportunities towards those who have proven their worth. It was not an ideal situation at work. But I also learnt that sometimes, you may accidentally jump into the viper’s pit but it doesn’t mean that you can’t figure your way out again. You may get bitten once or twice but what matters is that you find ways to help you out. In life, those ‘things’ that will help you out are the friendships that you make along the way.
Personally, I feel life is really too short to choose your friends. It’s better to be get to know as many people as possible than to limit yourself to just a selected few. Maybe I’m wrong, though.