So I was Told–a Reflection on Popular Sayings

I went to a US Hiring Culture Workshop today. The speaker mentioned a few recommendations that I’ve heard over and over again during my three years in US. However, as I practiced, observed, pondered about them in the last three years, I have many doubts. Here are some mentioned in the talk.

  • Never eat alone.

A lot of ideas and thoughts come up when we are thinking by ourselves, quietly. Talking, arguing, and listening might give us a chance to refine our ideas and bring new perspectives and opportunities to us, but do we really need so much talking?

In my opinion, eating can be just as meditative as yoga. You are supposed to focus on your body while eating. When I was in primary school, my teachers taught us to be quiet during the lunch time, finish all our food, and appreciate the fact that we can have delicious(HMMMM…) food without doing tiring farm work ourselves. In the modern society, meals are equivalent to social opportunities. It’s not wrong, but it’s only one angle. I enjoy chatting with friends or meeting someone I don’t know before at lunches/dinners, but I’m very opposed to this ‘never eat alone’ advice.

  • Follow your heart. Do what you are passionate about.

Another suggestion that sounds right, but not very applicable to many. What is passion? Something you are doing okay or doing well, from which you can find your value. So few of us have a passion since four. Instead of finding your passion, I would rather advocate being persistent + adaptive.

  • Show an outgoing personality. (Talking about first impression, what you do when you first meet someone.)

SERIOUSLY? One third of the population are introverts. Susan Cain: The power of introverts


My view: mainstream opinions or politically correct opinions can be as powerful  as a dictatorship.


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