People prefer to think that it’s always either yin or yang, either allied powers or axis powers, either yes or no, either good or bad, either useful or useless, either left-wing or right-wing, either (SRK or Salman, Ajith or Vijay). Ok, the last two examples were pathetic, I agree 🙂
There are a lot of situations in life where we don’t have an opinion, don’t have affiliations, don’t have preferences, don’t want to take sides, don’t want to get into the ‘you vs me’ game. In other words, we are neutral. We have a neutral point of view. We are not ‘against’ anyone but we are also not ‘for’ anyone.
Is this wrong?
Affiliations are beneficial, but they can be equally dangerous. Unless I am very clear about what I am getting into, I prefer not to be affiliated with any side.
When I was young (6th/7th standard), we used to go to Hindi classes. These classes were dominated by girls (I don’t know why) and there were few guys as well. I had a lot of ‘girl friends’ who were elder to me. I always thought that girls of my age or lesser were silly. But that’s a different topic. Coming back, we used to call them Akka (Akka in Tamil means elder sister). I thought Akka’s had a lot of knowledge and were smart.
As it so happened, there were a couple of powerful ‘Akka’s’ who hated each other. So, they started forming groups. The Hindi class was evenly split between the two, but I was not in either of the group. That was mainly because I had friends in both the groups. More importantly, I was friendly with both the group ‘heads’. Then why would I join one of them?
As you might have guessed, that was the end to my social activities for that term. No one spoke to me freely from there on and people were always suspecting me to be in collusion with the other side. Of course, the group heads knew me quite well, but the ones below were intent in causing confusion (mainly by spreading rumours etc).
But I was just being neutral. In fact, I carried some messages between the two group ‘heads’, but I was always an outsider to both the groups.
I saw similar groupism in school, college, etc. Frankly, I never got ‘into’ any group. I guess people might have thought that if I am left alone, I would somehow crumble and choose to join a group. But I like to be alone, with myself. So, I didn’t join their ‘seemingly exclusive’ groups. I didn’t like the commitments of being a ‘group insider’ and I never wanted the advantages that come with it, either.
This was quite fine, really. Till I started working.
In companies/offices, people seemed to assume that if I was not a member of one camp, then I was automatically in the other side. Being neutral seemed to be the perfect way to develop considerable number of enemies from both the sides.
Is this the way the world works? Is it wrong to be neutral? Is it wrong not to have an opinion on certain things? Is it wrong not to take sides?