People are trained to think of politics as being about government. Politics is usually considered about government officials. Politicians are considered to be such as: elected officials (from the justice of the peace to national president), advisors, the IRS, lobbyists, judges, and ambassadors. People in politics are not necessarily in government. And political people may never have ANYTHING to do with civil government.
Consider the top powers in General Motors and IBM: they did not get there by being good at installing automobile side panels or writing good programs for computers. They were good at wheeling and dealing stock values and investments and setting up departments which made money, showing up those with new ideas who were too slow to get there first, getting and keeping the right ears, as examples. In short, they were actively political. They worked at it and their jobs too, and the two were made part of each other. They were also aware that they were being political. The leaders of church groups did not get to lead by being good at prayer. The science fiction book club will have the one who wants the floor and their ideas to top out all the others and win the praise if not the prize. And in the chess club there is the chess player who simply will win and win more often. And they use all the participants and necessarily use them for they are a group who share each other to get to whatever is the top if they can. Little League Baseball has its stars every year beyond the game itself as so and so is announced as having got so many girls’ emails (as if no one else got any for none others were so mentioned) and another is announced as being wanted at 13 years old to coach his school’s senior baseball team at home, as two examples I saw.
There is nothing wrong in any of this. It is as natural as being the best at or at the top of whatever you can do. It is as natural as you making useful friends who can do you favors or introduce you to the right people versus the other friends you have. Such “other” friends just might be to talk to and let off steam. They also might just come up with ideas you can use. And you would naturally and you would be right to use the ideas. Yes, use their ideas for your own use with those useful friends and make yourself useful to them, quid pro quo, or on your own. And: this is politics. Like it or not.
I have met homeless people and street bums and YES they have their cliques, in-fights, victories, top dogs, enforcers, bullies and victims, smooth talkers, manipulators, whores, fringe members, and more, as any other group of people anywhere.
You MUST be political, wither you be successful or an abject failure, as a street bum or as a student or a teacher, for good, ill, mediocrity, at your loss, even to your destruction: You WILL take political action because you as a social being MUST make political choices and thereby by that alone if nothing else take or make political action. The decision to not rock the social boat and to socially conform is a political decision. To decide to change minds and rock the boat and convince others and get “them” to go along and live and let you live differently is a political decision.
As someone somewhere pointed out long before me, even the reclusive total loner on the mountain top had to leave a social group to be alone. And the loner has to go and get a meal somehow from somewhere now and then and presumably from someone else ... I add here: the loner made a choice and is also left alone by those who know of the reclusion, a decision, or maybe a lack of one, a choice made by at least one group of OTHERS in the know ...