Don’t bother, but do it subtly
Once upon a time, there lived a guy. He was like a regular happy go lucky person, who wanted to be seen as someone, who cared. So he would go about shaking hands with people, smiling at them, sometime talking to them and in general being very people friendly.He wouldn’t consider class and masses differently. He would talk to a plebeian as affably as he would to a person of higher order bit.
Over the years, of course it gained him a lot of friends and his circle grew. He was considered a friendly and rambunctious person to be around. On his part, he thought that this was great, because, he was wanted in any circle. He could crack jokes and walk into conversation, seamlessly, and that felt quite nice.
Over the years, it took quite a drain on him to keep up to all the invitations that he got. He wasn’t quite ready, to decline any invitation. But now he felt, morally obliged, to be there when everyone wished it so. He would not be able to cut short a meeting or gathering even if that was of no value to him. In short he would ensure, what couldn’t be cured. They say patience is virtue and tolerance is divine, but not so if the subject is you and you can change it. You cannot change the weather, but you can definitely, avoid the pain if you choose. In this case he could but he wouldn’t. So he kept soldering on. Occasionally he would sleep late, to be able to keep up to these parties. On other occasions, he would go out on weekends and spent time with his colleagues, just to move out of his comfort zone.
Networking is given undue importance in our society. A recalcitrant is considered a social retard and admonished to change his/her ways.
He had once heard, that what goes around comes around, and he hoped that when in a pinch his friends and circles would be there for him. He had also watched the movie “Yes Man” where the protagonist Jim Carry would essentially change his life by saying “yes” to everything.
Well, then it happened. Life stuck a blow of the worst order, when his car crash and he landed up in a hospital. He had survived a near death experience and after many surgeries and many more months of rest, he was resurrected from the arms of fatality . Whilst, being at the hospital, many of his friends had indeed come to see him and that seemed like a great thing. However, only a handful really stood by during these moments of vicissitude. These were not the once’s with whom, he had partied all night. These were not the colleagues who would chit chat with him over office politics. No. They were only a few of them. A modicum of friends who stood by because they knew him for years.
Following the years, he realised one key lesson of life. Your circle is much smaller than you think it is ! The world around you is a great distraction at best. Yet, its needed. Because, your own emotions being social. Because, you haven’t evolved into being which can survive without the cacophony of “facebook” Not yet, that is. But its not the be all end all of it.
And that’s exactly the feeling, you should rise above. Wanting to be loved, listened to and being part of the herd.
Don’t palaver with the incorrigible delinquents. It might be your friend next door who might feel bad if you don’t spend time with him, but that’s ok.
Recently, an ex-colleague of mine called upon me. She had been a good friend while we were at work. Like all colleagues, I would share the office politics and crib about our boss. Now she was travelling to my town and wanted to meet me. It required of me to take an evening out and spend time talking about things that didn’t matter any more to me. I had two choices. One. Play along. Don’t make her feel bad and go spend that time with her and be done with it. Second, was a rain check. Clearly, I knew that while I might like the act, of talking pointlessly for a few hours, not to mention to travel time but, I will hate the outcome. Palaver, is no longer a virtue to me. Time is !
So, I politely declined. Ofcourse, she gave me a scorn and told me that she knew I was avoiding her. But, then I don’t care a f*ck about what anyone things of me! I decided that life is not about what other think of you its about what you want for yourself. ALL the TIME !
This story is not unique to me. Its a story of every one of us. We are tangled in un necessary commitments which have no end game. We solider on in the hope that some day this might come around, but its too much of a price to pay for so much of precious time lost in your life. Learning a skill will be far more useful to each of us than, hoping to get help from a friend on a rainy day. For all you know, it might be a stranger who might help you. I don’t mean to say that you shut yourself socially. No. In fact I say the opposite. Spend on charity or talk to any one or everyone. Just remember that I shouldn’t become and obligation at any point in time.
Life is not short. Seneca (a Roman philosopher) said this 2000 years ago. It seems short because, we squander it away on farcically superfluous activities.The Roman society was no different from ours. Men would get wasted on drinking and other promiscuous ways. Hubris, would take the rest of it away when two individual would squabble over potentially worthless matters. Life is long enough if you focus on things that give you happiness.
I hope life lessons could be imbibed, as easily as they are written or spoken. Yet, most of our don’t learn the lesson until we experience it ourselves. It takes a lifetime to experience everything, but only a life moment to learn it from someone else’s experience.