Great Stories

Danger of Disillusionment

In the early months of Catalyst I attended a conference of other grantmakers where I continually prodded those with more experience for wisdom and advice. I vividly recall the words of one veteran of the field:

“Welcome to world where you never pay for lunch and no one ever tells you the truth.”
It was said with humour, but there was pain only slightly hidden behind the wry smile. It can be a struggle to maintain optimism in my role. I have been lied to, schmoozed, taken advantage of, and manipulated too many times. I think its fair to say I’ve seen some examples of both the best and the worst humanity has to offer. I’ve caught myself becoming cynical at times, and at least one friend has called me jaded. Still, I see so many sparks of hope! There are organizations big and small that are sincerely and effectively making a difference where a difference is needed. There are leaders who are sacrificing their personal advantages for the benefit of their organization’s dream. There are relationships being restored, shame being defeated, justices extended, and numerous examples of progress and even joy in the midst of the raw reality of life. Some days I really need to see, hear, or remember a few of those bright spots. Maybe you do too… I would be very appreciative if each reader of this post would comment with even one hopeful story or example of success that can help the rest of us when the temptation to discouragement and surrender grows strong. Let us know how you grow in wisdom without becoming a cynic. I’ll try to share one of my own for each one shared by you. Let’s give each other a little boost.