I read this sentence in an article today, ‘I did not want to invest in people I did not expect to see again.’
The first time I came across the phrase ‘investing in a person’ was when an ex-ACSI principal tried to persuade me that the five-figure sum of money he was asking to have my son transferred to his school is an investment for my son’s future. He didn’t have to try very hard. I would do anything to invest in my children’s future, even giving up my job.
But I digress. The investment in the sentence is obviously not money but time and effort. This sentiment is often how I feel too, but to read it in print makes it all sound so cold-blooded, which I don’t think I am. Yet I think this is the reason I rarely partake in small talks, or worse, bother to remember names and faces when I am first introduced to someone – why bother when you probably won’t see her again. Which makes me wonder now, why I would think the person I am meeting that first time is someone I am not expected to see again, for I have been proven wrong many times. Yet, this somehow sticks in me.
There is a perfectly reasonable explanation. There are some people who, when I meet for the first time, I feel an instant rapport – an unexplained familiarity which makes me want to connect and nurture the relationship. And if I don’t experience these on first impressions, I lose interest and don’t put in any investment. Alas, these instant rapports are rare and few, and sadly, even these investments I put in might end in vain, as the relationship fizzles off because the other party might not share the same feeling and put in the same investment.
Investing in people is not just for new relationships but old ones as well. I have many group chats but those I cherish most are from my school groups, from primary school, sec two and sec four. Thankfully, most in the groups share the same feeling of putting an equal investment to tolerate the frivolous chats and photos that are shared almost daily, but there are the few who prefer to exit, preferring to invest elsewhere. Old relationships are easier to invest – we have shared history and experiences to tap on and fall back for that warm fuzzy feeling.
So if you should, by chance, remember our first meeting, you’d probably think me aloof and arrogant, which I admit is probably true. But now you know my excuse – I did not want to invest in people I did not expect to see again. And if we are, by chance, still in connection, you should be glad I’ve invested in you. 🙂