If we truly want to connect with others, let’s do without networking. This term is irreversibly damaged. It’s spoiled at its core, and it’s designed to be abused. No matter how compassionate we want to be, with networking, there will always be an agenda. Authentic conversations aren’t possible when our personal ambitions aren’t the furthest topic from our minds. Our insecurities, our salesmanship, and our desire to impress need to be squashed in favor of complete focus on the person in front of us and what we have to offer others. Compassionate speech and reciprocation must drive authentic conversation. Networking, in contrast, cheapens our conversation. We mar true communication by this aggressive drive to improve oneself, which of course, is concealed by a smile and a firm handshake. Similar to meditation, if we approach socializing with the mindset of getting something, we’ve already miscalculated and created situations ripe for disappointment. Let’s communicate without an agenda. Let’s be at ease. Without our ambitions gnawing at our consciousness, we’re free to give ourselves completely to others, and there’s plenty of individuals that do need our help.
This brilliant strategy for socializing empowers us, out of compassion, out of empathy, to instill in people a feeling of importance. Each one of us is important. It does not matter whether we’re the pinnacle of the corporate food chain or the custodians who clean their floors—each of our lives hold value. The nurse and the garbage man are just as important as the business owner and the chief financial officer. Blue collar work provides invaluable comfort to our lives, therefore it should be respected and not taken for granted only because it’s not pretentious and not glamorous. As long as we’re all contributing, giving our best, giving what we have to offer, no one should feel inferior or less capable or less important. Nonetheless, if we’re blessed with an extraordinary gift, it would be an insult to others if we didn’t use it and live up to our potential. Not all of us should attend university and blindly follow what our culture claims as the key to a better life.
If we’re natural adepts, with an exceptional ability for working with people, music, or numbers, we’d better have a good reason for letting our gift atrophy and grow dormant. Imagine if we all decided to become physicians or attorneys. We’d be respectable but most of us will be passionless and painfully mediocre. Instead of relying on a university to transform us into money making gurus, we could approach education in a more reasonable way. Like a selfless approach to social settings, universities, besides expanding our minds from our exposure to important information, are better suited to help students decide on what they have to offer society. Ideal universities refine and enhance natural abilities, which already exist and are open to exploration within the student. Think how great humanity could be if we stopped trampling each other, climbing over each other to grasp an empty prize like financial success. Let’s work together for the benefit of all. Warriors know wealth means nothing if we withhold it from others. Warriors know that forcing pleasantries and feigning charisma with the intent to be rewarded is wrong.
Networking may be the best tactic to further financial success, but plain socializing will always be pure and untainted from wicked scheming, trying to vault ourselves up the power hierarchy. Honest socializing consists of getting to know one another, bridging the gap of our ignorance of one another. Although, once we degrade socializing and start calling it networking, we lose its innocence. Can we imagine Christ socializing but afterward, expect a reward? Can we imagine Christ uninterested in us only because we’ve cleaned toilets for a living? It’s peculiar how we lose touch with our humanity when business enters the equation. It’s sickening how ruthless we become when money governs a relationship. Financial success isn’t real; it’s an illusion to protect our egos when we’ve buried our consciences and strangled our souls. Recruiters and job applicants need to wash away the impurities clouding their vision and see each other as equals.
Possession of wealth never made us better than others and it never will. Surviving the chaos of living paycheck to paycheck and battling to obtain the peace of mind that wealth brings never made us better than others and it never will. As long as we’re equal in value, not identical but equal, our society should be judged based on those of us who’ve suffered the most. Our society is only as great as how it treats its poor, its old, and its sick. If recruiters treat the unemployed as trash meant to be discarded, then let’s call that networking. If two people want to have a conversation as equals, humbled by what they don’t know about each other, then let’s call that socializing. As a society, which path are we going to take? Will we be conniving and seek to use people for labor or financial reward or will we be good and help those less fortunate? I believe there’s still hope for humanity, and I’ll offer my help but as with every one else, I’m going to need help myself.