I believe I had good intentions and I believed people when they said they did.
I suppose my motivation as an adult has been the same for a while now – contribute to a better world while building endurance and thriving with as little as possible.
So it wasn’t strange that I was fine with whatever I could get, that I could tolerate being disrespected and that I overlooked being marginalised as I threw myself into whatever I considered a good cause.
I play the humble servant well, apparently.
My kind of endurance was based on a naivety I wasn’t conscious of for a long time. And because the world can smell naivety like a dog can smell fear, it pounced and took advantage of me over and over again.
People are beautiful, they’ll help you go far. I believe this.
But people can also be several shades of wicked, and you won’t even see their wickedness coming. I know this well.
It’s the same ones who praise you who will climb on your back to rise.
You will be worked to the bone on a diet of next to nothing by the ones who claim to believe in you.
They will press you thin as they grow fat on your blood, sweat and tears.
You’ll be too hyped up to see it, jaded by hollow applause, office pizza and the hope for shiny things you can never afford. All for a ‘good’ cause.
Let’s take off the collective blindfold.
Look, you’re going to meet people who will claim to share your dreams.
Great but wait.
Take your time with them.
Don’t commit in a hurry.
Common ground isn’t always a green light to build anything together.
They could share your dreams but that could be all. They may not agree with your values or understand your clarity of purpose.
If you dive in, it may start out well: excitement is a good lubricant.
But hey, excitement dries up sooner than later.
Then comes the uncomfortable friction, followed by the heat which often evolves into the fire of irreconcilable differences that burns a materialising dream to the ground much faster than it took to make it real.
And a burnt dream heals slowly.
Some parts of it may never even grow back the same (or at all), and the optimism that takes us from nascent faith to committed action may never be rekindled.
So be wary of people with good intentions.
*insert something about road construction and hell*