Start with strangers

I am currently reading “Hard Times” and today I came across the episode where James walks in to a places which is new for him and gets introduces to the other characters in the novel.While reading those lines thoughts spewed in to my mind on how we make connections with people and thought of digging them a bit by thinking them aloud.

The world is just the same, but each one of us looks at it with different assumptions and views and hence it inflicts different kinds of emotions in us. Our actions depend on our assumptions about the world. Our assumptions find their root in what we were told about the world. Our parents and family members are our first eye. As we grow up they teach as “A for apple” so that we get to know both the alphabet and the fruit. But as they impart us their knowledge they also inflict their uncertain assumptions as knowledge to them. If some one was not amicable to them they were introduced with a heinous description to us.

As we grow up we dont rely much on our parents  since we have formed our own assumptions about them and our brain knows when to take their suggestions and when not to. But still we are not completely free to chose our assumptions. The world is so big and is there is always more people whom you dont know than you can know. You come across many new people and they are always introduced to you through someone or something you already know. The way you frame your assumption about the new people mostly depends on that ‘Connection’ which connected you.

James is refered to work in Bounderbys factory by Gradgrind. Gradgrind is a parliamentarian and Bounderby’s father-in-law. He has become so because Bounderby married Lousia who happens to be the cute little daughter of Gradgrind. Lousia has a whelp as a brother who got a name called TOM.

As James walks in and shows the letter from GradGrind , Bounderby treats him with utmost respect since he has been referred by GradGrind.  He doesnt have an eye of his own to judge James rather uses Grads vision for his. When Lousia meets up with James Lousia seems indifferent to him. Bounderby had earlier spoke to James about his wife of which he formed certain expectations. But Lousia in her unemotional form seemed to be a contradiction to it. And then comes the most important connection which triggered this post. It was between Tom and James. Tom was introduced to James  while on a dinner table with his sister and brother in law on their sides.

They exchange normal pleasantries and Tom is supposed to speak good about his brother-in-law to his esteemed guest.But he doesnt do so and starts the conversation commenting about the braggart in Bounderby.

James replies “A very good fellow indeed…”

Tom “Do you really think so..” in a satirical tone.

James “What a comical brother in law you are…”

Tom ..”What a comical brother in law you have — i think thats what you meant..”

The conversation proceeds that way and in few strides they were able to realize that their thoughts are identical and they start a conversation which is honest to their heart.

When at work you arent supposed to speak ill of it. When with a friend of your friend’s  you arent supposed to give out bad comments about your friend. So goes the connections and many connection when made dont start in a honest tone. We fail to know the real people in them and our assumptions are covered by the impressions left by so called connections.

I cannot be explicit as Tom does for obvious reason, but even then I would like to exhibit a brand unique to me which can shine even beneath the ‘connection’ clouds and I seek insight which can see beneath the ‘connection’ cloud.

Connect to the strangers beyond the impressions of your connections and I guess that will give a new colour to life.

And doing a little self-retrospection I have been a  good connector all my life. I have helped people connect each other without my impressions influencing them. My friends whom I connected became better friends among themselves than they are to mine. Time to wear the geeks hat and mine this connections and find out how it works. Let me stop this ramblings here and get back!!!  Happy to blog without a purpose:)

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3 Responses to Start with strangers

  1. Praveen Raj says:

    Deepak, It is true that connections don’t often begin on an honest note. But the question here is the extent of honesty that you need when you connect to strangers. It’s not often that you come across a person who has only one intention of connecting to you as a person. There is always an ulterior motive. Practical thinking dictates caution to our mind at this stage. But over a period of time, when those very strangers are no longer strangers, then there can be an unveiling of the mask that we all wear. Nobody becomes a true friend of somebody with just one sight. Sure, it does add colour to our life, but would it be the colour that we hope to get? There are various shades of the same colour, and this is what we need to be veary of. Otherwise, on a philosophical note, connecting to strangers is good. Who knows, we might just meet the Almighty and we may not recognize Him/ Her just because we failed to connect.
    Nice article, Deepak. Looking forward to reading more of the same.

  2. Divya says:

    Nice pondering on how we see the world. Bingo !! I enjoyed reading your thoughts on the connections and assumptions we make about the world. It is rather paradoxical that we make the assumptions and then blame the world.

  3. @Praveen Couldnt agree more. I see the point in you and I agree that honesty could chip in as time progresses. True! Thanks for stopping by and leaving your impressions.

    @Divya Thank you. You left your trademark impressions with that last ‘paradoxical’ line. I partly agree with you but aren’t we taught about certain things even before we have the ability to think? I was refering to the impressions we inflict on a child.

    On the other side I form a different set of assumptions for a stranger I meet in toastmasters and the one at work. As praveen says it takes little time to break free of them:)

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