Sunday, August 12, 2007

A 12 Year Mistake

I remember in elementary school I made lots of friends. How easy was making friends in our youth? Jerry Seinfeld said it best: You like cherry soda, I like cherry soda, let’s be friends. Or how about you and a group hanging around and everyone played tag, hide and seek, or dodge ball. It was easy getting along with others when we were children. Sometimes, we don’t get along. I had my share, too. My fourth grade and fifth grade were the best years for friends. My classmates got along with each other. I was one of the least popular, least smartest, and na├»ve such that I behaved like a toddler ;__; Regardless, many of my classmates treated me with respect and invited me in activities such as recess football.

Moving ahead to my first semester at San Jose State University in fall 1992. I concentrated on my classes only. I didn’t make any new friends. I didn’t participate in recreational activities. I just studied such that I knew when Christmas vacation comes, my friends from college and those remaining in high school meet up and hang out. I didn’t need any new friends. I didn’t need to meet new people.

From August 1992 to September 2004, I met a handful of new people (excluding my workplace co-workers) and made three new friends. I met the three new friends in 1997. I hung out with most of my high school friends during my college vacations. My 12 year mistake was I failed to continuously meet new people and make new friends. In September 2004, I attended an anime convention. I wore a costume for the first time and participated in a gathering where I met people. The event was a wake up call. Why did I do wrong?

What if I started to meet new people, participated in recreational activities in college, find new hobbies and new interests, and instant message and chatted online during the 12 years? Maybe I could have been married? Maybe I could have been a better person? Maybe I could have a better career? Maybe I could have lived somewhere else? Maybe I could have new hobbies? Maybe I could have different values? Too many maybes, too little time to dwell on the past—the could haves, should haves, and would haves (oops, I said the word “will”).

Nobody can ever have too many friends. It’s a small world. Since 2004 when I started to meet new people, some of the new people I met knew others and those others I met them at another event. It’s the circle of friends. My circles are overlapping and I’m creating new circles. I’m re-learning how to meet new people, to make new friends, and to be a popular person. A popular person is not being the “Big Person On Campus.” A popular person is a person who is being liked. If you want to be liked, then be helpful to others, present yourself with positive character, possess the charming attitude, influence others to be better and to take the next step forward, be a good listener, smile--in short, have a friendly personality. You’re not going to make new friends every time you meet new people in a social instance; however, it’s a small world and you may see them in the future for which you may become friends at a later date.

Who you know is more important that what you know. Schools fail to teach the lesson.

Side Note: September 2004 was the first time I met new people. The event was JapanTowne Anime Faire 2 (JTAF 2). If the event took place before August 2004, my 30th birthday, then the event is my number 1 most memorable moment in my 30 years of living.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I remember a college class trying to teach me the opposite.