If I’m nice, I think that I will be, at the very least, satisfied with who I am as a person, regardless of how life turns out.
So, first, for one of my friends, I’ll explain why I think being nice isn’t actually conducive to ‘material’ success. Bear in mind that i’m using the word material really loosely here. What I’m referring to more concerns success in career options and the general ‘moving up the working class ladder’ sentiment.
Have you ever tried kicking someone out of your group/team even in something as trivial as a group project for a high school class? Its definitely not as easy as it looks, even when you know that you are completely in the right. Scenario: There is a boy is your group who tries really hard but clearly doesn’t know what he’s doing. You don’t have the heart to kick him out, since he’s clearly trying.
This is probably the worst situation, but ultimately if you want to succeed you really have to tell it as you see it. I’d like to think that I can do this, but in reality I have failed multiple times when in this particular circumstance, although I did succeed once - so maybe i’m getting better. I really admire my friends that stand up for their convictions, and I hope that eventually I can be that person.
Ok, so perhaps I should clarify, being nice to the exclusion of all else isn’t conducive to success in any form, material or even in relationships.
The classic example is compromising on something in a relationship (whether it is a romantic relationship or just a platonic one) that would clearly make you subservient or make you compromise your ideals. Obviously, that is a bad idea.
Hopefully at Stanford next year, I’ll try to open up a bit more to my friends and actually get my opinions and viewpoints out there to develop closer friendships sooner.
On a slightly related but otherwise tangential note (actually this is more of a case study than a side note) - In a strange sense of the word, family is really important to me. Although people may think that I’m just lying through my teeth, full of hot air, or whatever the correct idiom in this situation is -many could apply,- especially seeing as I don’t really talk to my extended family much at all, this is at least half my fault, I think that ultimately I’d rather see my family be happy as a whole than for me or any particular individual to be happy or successful as an individual. This is actually an incredibly selfish desire, despite its seemingly altruistic nature on the outside. Ultimately them being happy as a whole means that they are nice to each other, they get along well with each other, no discrimination/bias, etc. And this whole utopic ideal, would make me happy - hence the selfish part. My parents tell me that i’m a ‘mundrikotai’ a lot (I have no clue how to spell the word, its in tamil, i think - but essentially it means that I don’t mind my own business). I don’t think the world is very fair, but I’d like to make it come as close to the line of fairness as possible. So, even when my sisters have arguments with each other, I only side with one or the other relatively briefly, and try to calm down an altercation before it gets too bad (hopefully they can attest to this and I’m not just fabricating situations in my mind). This is kind of sounding really self-serving and pompous, but I’m by no means a saint. I lose sight of this goal a lot and I have arguments with my parents and sisters that escalate simply because I continue for the sake of arguing or because I need to get my point across since I have some grand idea that I’m correcting all the injustices in the world. But, I try to not let that happen too often.
Strangely it seems that people always say that its the nice guys you have to watch out for. I’m not sure if this applies to me (I may actually be really mean to people and I just don’t realize it, since I have some twisted view of myself), but I guess I don’t really see any major skeleton’s in my closet.
So, back to the main purpose of this post - being nice. I guess I see myself as some kind of grand mediator of the world or whatever. This is actually the reason why I want to go into politics or law, and perhaps become a Supreme Court Justice someday. This is probably one of main reasons, though I didn’t mention it in my previous post on this subject, of why I was reluctant to turn down Yale. I feel like deciding on Stanford may have put that idea on the backburner for slightly longer. Although political science (incl. foreign relations, law etc.) may not be subject I’m most interested in studying in college - it falls shortly behind Computer Science - I think I can say that its something that I’m incredibly passionate about. So, I’m hoping that after studying Computer Science (with ideally a triple major in also Political Science and Economics), maybe trying my hand at entrepreneurship and working for long enough to make enough bank, I can try my hand a political career.
**Disclaimer: This is my attempt at a introspective post, so don’t blame me if its terrible, I’m just following my friends’ advice.**