By all accounts, I am indeed a madman. I have desires and yearnings that appear to be normal but reflect a weakness of spirit that is pitiful. I have been painfully tutored about the nature of people, yet my belief in their inherent goodness and potential wholesomeness remains strong.

A wise physicist once said that the definition of insanity is repeating the same behaviour and expecting a different result. So by definition, I am a madman. I see and experience the hypocrisy of the closet sincerests among us, yet I continue to believe that there is an inherent goodness that lurks beneath. Not only do I believe it, I plan on it, I count on it and I expect it.

There are exceptions of course. But here’s the coup de grace of it all. In believing in this flawed human spirit, and in living a naively misguided life, my reputation has been tainted because of good intentions associated with bad outcomes. And these exceptions that I admire and appreciate so much would rarely feel inclined to be acquainted with the likes of such a tainted soul. From afar I’ll continue to desire and yearn, but I dare not step close enough to tarnish them with the putrefaction of a decaying soul.

Zaid Ismail

Author, life coach, and mental health activist. We need to change the narrative from disorders, illnesses, and survival to accountability, understanding, and thriving.

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