Ever hear of the characters in  a story that manipulates others into doing their bidding? Ever hear of the characters in the stories that always say positive things, never negative? Ever hear of the expression “politeness is mistaken for flirtation”?

In a world where every possibility, every outcome has become a novel/movie/song, every action is taken into question, wondering if the person has an ulterior motive. Maybe it’s different elsewhere, but it seems as though any action, whether good or bad, has a cost and that nothing is free for either parties (those giving and those receiving).

As one of the many volunteers in the MBA ICC, I was given many compliments for doing a good job. I was more than happy to hear that, but I couldn’t help but wonder of the reason for all of those compliments. As a social science student, I know a few things about behaviours and reasons behind them, but I couldn’t find any reasons that would be an ulterior motive.

Then, I started to think of what I had done over the little time that I had been there. To me, they seemed insignificant, minor, but is it all too impossible that they might be viewed differently by others? Could it be that I’m too critical on my actions?

More questions than answers – why not neither? While today is a world where the media shows every possibility, sometimes the result is a simple one. Maybe someone gives a compliment just for the sake of making someone smile; maybe someone adopts a pet from a shelter for companionship; maybe someone gives a compliment to show another’s value from another angle. Maybe… they just do that act of kindness because they want to – no other reason.

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