When The Mask Falls Off

Very often in life we experience incidents wherein people we have known since a long time betray us. You might feel you know someone so well, you share parts of your life with them, and then they turn around and stab you in the back when you least suspect something negative might have been brewing in their minds. I have experienced this in many aspects of life, but very very often in the running community. By and large, runners are a very supportive and encouraging bunch – I haven’t encountered anything untoward with people I meet on runs. What is ironic though, is people who I have known since before running, those who I have got into running – by staying over, taking them for morning runs, keeping them abreast of events, accompanying them to races – these are the ones I get betrayed by. As a runner, dancer, martial artist, linguist, bibliophile, I meet many people with similar hobbies who ask for help. But my bad experiences with a few make me wonder how worthwhile is it to help out in the first place. Forget about being ungrateful, the betrayers turn other people against me as well.

I came across this cartoon of Aunty Acid today. For those who do not know her, Aunty Acid can be described as an online comedienne – a senior citizen with a sassy mouth and an unbelievable attitude, known to say the darnedest things. But in all the humor, a lot of what she says is very relatable. This particular image got me thinking about my own dilemma – maybe if people don’t know what we’re doing, they won’t approach us for help, and the risk of being Betrayed later is minimized. Aunty Acid gives us life goals to keep fair weather friends at bay – not be nice and sweet, and be discreet in ones activities – and then beat them at their own game if they don’t know what you’re up to in the first place.

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