Advice I would give my younger self: if someone has a reputation for fighting for a cause you believe in, that says nothing about whether they are a kind person. If you meet or interact with them, it will go as well as if you met someone at random you've never heard of.

If someone has a reputation for kindness, then meeting them will probably go well. I've never regretted meeting someone after a person I trust said of them "Wow person xyz is the nicest, kindest human being I know."

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This may seem like basic stuff but I constantly commit the error of, "Wow I admire the work of a person on certain moral/ethical/political issues, surely we will get along."

@darius i found out the hard way a number of times the same applies to *groups* based around [topic or cause you are into]. you find the same percentage of racists and rapists in any group regardless of political, religious, socioeconomic etc etc alignment.

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I like the part where they're supercilious/aloof/cred n' status-obsessed twits whose attitudes towards a newcomer are lifted straight from the worst stereotypes about prep schools and country clubs. Not that I'm bitter or anything.

@darius

Its interesting how three people could share political goals or striving for ideals, and their personality and cultures may be incompatible

@darius oh gosh this is real. One huge attraction of my current job was that my boss was beloved by the department as a kind person (which I knew from having 2 friends in the dept). 2 years in, I can say it's true. People also respond so positively when they learn she's my boss.

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