TALK­ING SMACK

NZ Performance Car - - Team Nzpc - Jaden Martin Email: jaden@per­for­mance­car.co.nz In­sta­gram: jaden_nzpc­magazine

One of the as­pects that I en­joy most about be­ing in­volved with NZ Per­for­mance Car is all the peo­ple I get to meet — out at events, on shoots, and even the peo­ple I end up chat­ting with on­line. I’ve met some solid mates this way, and any­one who’s talked to me will know I’m all about a bit of light ban­ter to break the ice — what’s a bit of shit be­tween mates, right?

Meet­ing new peo­ple is al­ways go­ing to be a mixed bag, though; every­one has a dif­fer­ent per­son­al­ity, ex­pres­sion, and way they con­duct them­self. A con­ver­sa­tion that was a good laugh with one per­son may be bor­ing or of­fen­sive to an­other, and this can cre­ate a rep­u­ta­tion for you that spreads quickly. I won’t al­ter the way I talk or act to suit dif­fer­ent peo­ple; I just do me and let peo­ple think what they will.

Re­cently, I’ve seen the full ef­fect that these types of reputations can have on peo­ple within our world, with com­plete strangers dog­ging on some­one’s name be­cause of some­thing that a mate of a mate has said. Yes, I’ve prob­a­bly been guilty of this in the past; I’ll openly ad­mit that — we’re all young and a bit stupid at one point in our lives. I re­mem­ber when a mate said that he didn’t like a dude who went to the same school as I did, so I, by de­fault, didn’t like this guy ei­ther, and we used to ex­change words over the court­yards. I saw him a few years later — at my first track day, no less — and he ap­proached me for what I ex­pected to be the same ex­change of words. In­stead, he said hello, we chat­ted briefly, and he ended the con­ver­sa­tion with a staunch “I’ll see you out on track”, while death glar­ing me as he walked away. That led to a Face­book add, a good laugh about it, and be­ing mates for years now.

A sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion oc­curred af­ter some­one who I’d never met or spo­ken to — one of those ran­dom Face­book as­so­ci­ates — put up a sta­tus about a con­tro­ver­sial topic. I can’t re­call what it was about, but I com­mented with my thoughts, al­beit pos­si­bly my re­sponse was on the cheeky side of things, and this per­son took of­fence, send­ing a text­book-long pri­vate mes­sage. That per­son got slot­ted into the mo­ron cat­e­gory for what would have eas­ily been two years, and I passed my thoughts about the per­son on to a few mates. One day, I fi­nally bumped into said per­son while catch­ing up with mates and quickly learned that they were ac­tu­ally some­one pretty solid to talk to. We now stay in reg­u­lar con­tact, and I’d call them a mate any day of the week.

I sup­pose the point I’m try­ing to get across here is that we’ll be told a lot of things about peo­ple we’ve never met, and, be­ing hu­man, we’ll be quick to judge them on what we’re told, but I’ve learned that re­serv­ing any kind of no­tion un­til you’ve had the chance to form your own opin­ion of them can open a lot of doors, and you can end up with some life­long mates. Be nice to each other; those throw­away com­ments, in per­son or on­line, travel fast and can im­pact heav­ily on peo­ple.

Work to­gether, build the scene, ‘make mates great again’.

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