You make your own enemies

Snapshot of my day…

Reading: The Art of War, by Sun-tzu

Listening: to other people talk

Wondering: if someone could invent an algorithm to predict traffic patterns? Please?

I used to think that there are always certain people you can never get along with. And maybe that’s true. Narcissists, perverts and people who don’t know how to spell ‘separately’ would probably be at the top of my Avoid At All Costs list. (I kid…some of my friends are perverts.) But lately I’ve come to realise that you can get along with almost everyone if you put your mind to it.

Sometimes you meet someone and you click. Maybe you have a similar interest, or mannerisms, or background. More often than not, though, you are surrounded by people who are different from you in some way or another. You have conflicting opinions. They think the world revolves around them. You shudder at the way they pronounce ‘specialty.’ Or maybe they smell bad and you just don’t know why.

It sounds selfish, but I reckon you’ve got to weigh up the effort of making a friend out of them, against the benefit of having them on your side. I know, it sounds like some awful calculating method of self-promotion, but I promise it’s for the sake of your own health. Some people are not good for you. They will sap your energy like a carbon freeze.

My new rule of thumb is as follows: befriend those who are interesting, multi-dimensional, different from you, opinionated but not obnoxious, compassionate, gentle, altruistic, idealistic, intelligent. Befriend people who are from all walks of life. People whom you respect. People that you feel you can learn something from. Who bring out the best in you.

Who do I respect the most? I think I respect two kinds of people. One, people who are curious about the many fascinating aspects of life. People who are hungry to learn make me want to learn from them and from the world. Two, people who are compassionate. Selflessness is a remarkable trait.

And the rest? I think I’m going to give up caring about what they think. I officially have passed the point in life where I want to worry about the opinions of those who hardly even matter to me.

Most importantly…fill your inner circle with your favourite people. The few you respect the most; the ones who paint the world for you in brighter colours. In the end, they matter the most. They refuel you at the end of a long day and help mould you into the kind of person you want to become (like two pieces of flint, carving each other into shape). If you put yourself next to people who are narrow-minded, you will become narrow-minded. If you keep the company of the ever-curious, perhaps you can discover the world.

PS. I forgot to mention: having a bad sense of humour is unforgiveable. Just unforgiveable. No.

In other news, I read this book the other night:


It’s full of wonderful short stories with even wonderful-er illustrations. Shaun Tan is a master storyteller. Another book of his, The Arrival, comes highly recommended. Anyone who’s ever migrated from one country to another will relate closely to the story, which is told entirely in pictures.

Anyway, I’ll sign off now, since I’ve had my vent and it’s late and I’m too tired to make much sense. More next time!


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