No good deed goes unpunished

Some months ago I was writing about the death of my friend Rosie Dalziel and said:
“…while my sympathies and loyalties are with the innovators, recognising the frustrations and loneliness they often have to endure, the barriers to genuine innovations may be a necessary and desirable thing. We need a measure of stability to be able to lead meaningful lives. If innovation was easier we would find ourselves overwhelmed by change. So it may be that the barriers and obstacles face by people trying to do new things are the filters that enable us to absorb the amount of deep change we can cope with at any one time.”
A theme that was echoed in Michael McDonough‘s “Top Ten Things They Never Taught Me in Design School”:
“8. The road to hell is paved with good intentions; or, no good deed goes unpunished.
The world is not set up to facilitate the best any more than it is set up to facilitate the worst. It doesn?t depend on brilliance or innovation because if it did, the system would be unpredictable. It requires averages and predictables. So, good deeds and brilliant ideas go against the grain of the social contract almost by definition. They will be challenged and will require enormous effort to succeed. Most fail. Expect to work hard, expect to fail a few times, and expect to be rejected. Our work is like martial arts or military strategy: Never underestimate your opponent. If you believe in excellence, your opponent will pretty much be everything.”

Readers might like to compare McDonough’s list with Bruce Mau’‘s “An Incomplete Manifesto for Growth”