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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Never love a stranger

Before people get other ideas, let me clarify love is used in the context of 'attachment/emotional dependence' on another person. The title is taken from a best seller of Harold Robins. In that book(pages 453-454 available at Google Books here), the protagonist has some very powerful insights during his last moments
  1. You cannot live without regard for society and the so-called common man. For to live so, is to live without regard for yourself
  2. A man can live alone if he shares his home with 20 other humans and his heart with none
  3. Do not grow up sheltered, clothed, fed and cared for, and yet poorest in human qualities than the poorest of humans.A man needs more than food, clothing and education to make him human. He needs love, kindness and affection.
  4. Love means giving not taking
While doing a case analysis, considering the HR/social angle is important to avoid losing sight of human values. That financially optimal worker layoff strategy may have to be chucked for another strategy which is more considerate, as implied in point (1)

I think point(2) is specially relevant here. There are dorms of 30+ people but if the interaction between dorm mates is less, then it becomes like (2) where it is a building of strangers. Even huge offices may face this problem if people stick to their own teams.

And as said in the Gita,one should do one's work without stressing on the outcomes. This sounds BS to me(we all do work in anticipation of rewards) but once we are near the top of Maslow's hierarchy(basic needs met etc), then this may hold. I have seen several relationships of convenience here which are fundamentally fragile but still go on. In some study group/work group formations, I have seen rational optimization behaviors prevail over friendships/feelings. In that case, the affected party should not have high expectations in the first place. If you help a person, leave it at that without future expectations. That is what I interpret from point (4)

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