It must suck to be the President of Pakistan. Not only are you blamed for everything that goes wrong (and this includes traffic jams, and bad weather…) but you also have to deal with frequent uncivil civil society members who write disgustingly rude columns in the newspaper. And the best way to deal with people is to not deal.
One thing I’ve learnt the hard way is that people are too self absorbed to really give a shit about you for more than ten minutes. I spent my first two years in university trying hard to keep my reputation and sanity intact, thinking that people actually were taking note of everything I was doing, and looking for me to make a mistake. Now I realize that nobody, no matter how pathetic, spends more than 1/80th of a day thinking about someone other than himself. So why worry about the opinion of a person who wastes 18 minutes of his day on the rest of humanity? Another thing I learnt is that reputation means nothing. The cliché “the first impression is the last impression” is abysmally incorrect. Our knowledge of someone keeps evolving. I may think a person a complete snob the first time I see her, only to realize how wrong I was on our second meeting, and on the third I may end up considering her the humblest person I know. And vice versa. We evolve, our perceptions of people evolve. Why bother caring what someone thinks of you at the present moment when he’ll probably think of you in a completely different way the next? Why limit yourself to what you want people to think of you?
And that’s the gist of everything. If I want to portray myself as dignified, sophisticated and intellectual, I’ll act that way. The keyword here is act. Why make that effort? If that’s the way I am, it’ll emanate (is that the word?) itself. I’ve spent so long trying to be what I want to be, I’ve forgotten what I was to begin with.