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Of opportunists and hypocrites

June 28, 2011

In my life, I’ve met many people. All sorts of people. I must say that most of the people I’ve met are absolutely nice, caring and reasonable. People who’ve helped me get through problems. People who come to my aid at times when I thought help wasn’t coming. There are also people who offered me words of encouragement while I was at my lowest ebb. These are perfect models for a human being (in my view, at least). Looking at the example set, I try my best to be reasonable and nice to everyone I meet. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. If you have experienced good deeds from other people to you, it makes you feel good doesn’t it? As such replicate it unto others and share the joy.

However, that is not the subject on my mind just about now. I’d like to write about people who are the exact opposite of those described above. I am right now thinking about opportunists, hypocrites and people who are selfish down to the bone. In my life, I believe it’s always good to at least try and put others before myself. Of course I have my own problems to deal with, but it doesn’t hurt to consider other people’s interests before thinking of my own. I definitely don’t put others before me in situations which could prove to be detrimental to me (except where family is concerned of course). Now, back to the opportunists. The Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary defines “opportunist” as “someone who tries to get an advantage or something valuable from a situation without thinking about what is fair or right.

I think the above definition sounds just about right. Now, relating the definition to people I’ve met, I was in a situation where a few people around me were in dire straits. Somebody close to us was a supremely selfish person. And I wouldn’t be overreacting if I say that our very livelihoods depend hugely on this person’s actions. I hated it then. My destiny (at least in the short term then) was not in my own hands. Opportunists around me did this person’s bidding (obviously without thinking about the rights or wrongs in doing so). They had this illusion of grandeur that something great was going to happen to them. You know, people who are not inclined to work hard and hoping that someday untold riches and prestige would fall on their collective laps. You hear things like, “Oh, if we get this (or that) we’re gonna get (…) millions.” (insert the figure you fancy in the blank). At that particular moment, I was of the firm believe the word “conscience” didn’t even register in their minds.

Well, as with things like this, everything turned turtle after a while. I left without looking back and was very happy to part company with people of this sort. Good riddance, I say. The Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary defines “hypocrite” as “a person who claims or pretends to have certain beliefs about what is right but who behaves in a way that disagrees with those beliefs.” Here’s the thing. When I left the organisation above, someone else left with me. We were absolutely determined to make it outside and prove everybody we know previously wrong. There’s this particular mantra which was always drummed into us (or shoved down our throats. Take your pick). It goes something like, “If you leave, you’ll never make it. Don’t worry, just stay. When we make those millions, everybody will be OK.” So when we left, we wanted to make a difference.

The favourite conversation topic whenever we met would be how we hate this selfish guy. I made it clear that I do not want to be associated with him in any way at all. I was actually coaxed by this guy who left with me to make friends with that selfish fellow. “Who knows we could make something if we just got back together with him. Let’s not be there on a formal basis, just maybe we could get some ‘tempias’ if he indeed makes it,” he said to me. Not in a bloody million years I said. Although the experience taught me a lot about a lot of things, I know mixing with people of this character would always end in tears. I heard recently this friend of mine is back in the fold. As he said, not on a formal basis, but the process has begun, again. Heard him socialising with the selfish guy, “sleeping with the enemy” as it were. For someone who was in the doldrums most of the time and having the gumption to go back to the very person who caused the heartache in the first place, the guy must have b*lls of steel, I tell you. And acting totally against his very beliefs. That’s hypocrisy. And still telling stories about how bad the guy is every time we meet.

I have a lot of hate in me. There are certain times like this, I choose to let it out. If I don’t, it’ll just drive me crazy with anger. I don’t try to suppress it, I just try to control it. I do not in any way want to be eaten up by my own anger towards others. As the wise one once said, “anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.” Can you guess who it was?


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