Hi, I'm Matthew 👋

I'm a Software Developer from New Zealand

New Year Ponderings

3 minutes
January 4, 2011


It’s a new year! I have never been one for resolutions so I won’t be making any. I will however have a set of goals for the year:

Goals are completely different from resolutions, right?


An interesting corollary of this is that I have been thinking quite a lot about how people fit into communities and society. I have concluded that individuals seem to have two choices in everything we do - sometimes you won’t realise you have the choice and sometimes the choice leads to the same conclusion, but it is still there.

Either act to fit in with the community or act for oneself.

Now, we are socially programmed to think that egotism and everything related to it is bad; however we still all act in accordance with it. I think that what we are actually looking for is a balance, one in which we keep a place within the community and still keep a set of our own personal thoughts, ideals, and beliefs.

This seems so obvious, but I don’t think people make the distinction. In one case, people do stuff for themselves because they are sick of trying to fit in or don’t feel they can, in the other, they force themselves to do more for the community to gain acceptance (or whatever other reasons). There is nothing hugely wrong with either, it is just what we as individuals do.

What we can improve on is our awareness of doing this. Am I doing this because I actually want to or because it will be good for me or because I think I should?

Let me give a hypothetical example - you decide to go out to dinner with a  group of friends. Are you doing it because a) you like their company, b) you want are lonely and want company, c) because doing so will give you a chance for further socialising, d) because you feel guilty that you haven’t been out with them recently, e) because you feel that socialising is good, or because you want to fit in with your social circle?

I don’t think that it matters what reason(s) you have as long as you are aware of them. Are you aware of why you make these kinds of decisions? Is this something you think about? Do you think that it is a good thing to be aware of your actions? Did any of that make sense?