How Anatta and Beacon of Hope met, formed a friendship, and embarked on the journey to create Float.News.
I am Anattā. You can learn about me here. I met Beacon of Hope in February of 2016 when I needed help with work that could be completed over the Internet.
I found what I thought was a female college student from the East Coast. I was impressed with her knowledge, skills, and problem-solving ability. My only real concern was that she was so skilled that I would lose her once she graduated.
After a couple of months of working together, I noticed the words she would use didn’t sound like a young college coed, but since the quality of her work was so high, I didn’t want to explore it further. Through our numerous emails, I came to respect and admire her abilities.
One day, I got an email saying she had something to confess and that I may wish to stop working with her because of it. I hadn’t provided her with any sensitive information or taken any risks, so I didn’t feel I had anything to worry about, but I was very curious about her little secret.
She revealed that she was really a young man from Nigeria named Beacon of Hope.
He felt guilty about deceiving me and later wrote:
I remembered when I started working online. That was in my final year in College. My first Fiverr account was opened using the Beacon of Hope pen name as well as a Nigerian. As you probably guessed, I didn’t have a sale for the first few months. That was when some of my course mates that have made great success in Fiverr said the secret is to open the account as an American and primarily as a female.
I didn’t want to because it went against what I believed in, but I felt like I had little or no choice. That should be the first time I realized that everything in life isn’t always in black and white…
He was right, of course, as I responded:
I want you to know that I fully understand why you pretended to be (a young woman). Realistically, if you had put yourself out there as (your name) from Nigeria, I would not have contacted you. Nigeria has such a negative reputation for scammers and thieves, there is no way I would have exposed myself to such a risk, particularly when there are virtuous American college girls I could work with instead — (his fake name).
You were being unfairly judged by people like me that had no idea that there are good people like you living among the awful people who make a nefarious living from the Internet. You were put in an unfair set of circumstances through no fault of your own. You didn’t choose to be born there.
I believe that what you did was NOT wrong. It’s too simplistic to say that you lied to me; therefore, you are bad. You had legitimate reasons to hide your identity because it was the only way you could work with me, or anyone else, long enough to establish a judgment of your capabilities and character that wasn’t tainted by the bad deeds of those around you. I don’t think what you did in any way reflects badly on your character. If anything, the need you (correctly) felt to do that reflects badly on me.
Over the years and hundreds of emails, I got to know Beacon of Hope personally. I also came to see he had a natural ability to organize his thoughts and put them into prose. After ten years of daily writing on the Internet, I realized that the ability to directly transfer thoughts in this manner is the key to high-quality, prolific writing. I came to see his real calling was to become a writer.
The other item I noticed in our emails was his deep understanding of spiritual issues. Although he is half my age, his wisdom surpasses mine in these areas. While I may have a small edge in age and book learning, I came to respect his deeper knowing and emotional intelligence. While I may be able to help him with the craft of writing, he already possessed the wisdom of knowing what to write.
Even as I was writing for my previous website devoted to real estate, I knew that I wanted to write about the more important aspects of human existence. I conceived this site years ago, but only through my relationship with Beacon of Hope did I finally find the impetus to make it happen.
My original concept for the site was that it would be free of any ads or attempts at monetization. I didn’t want money to corrupt my writing. But once I decided to get Beacon of Hope involved, I began to see that this site could be a way to substantially improve his life. I live a comfortable life in an affluent enclave on the Western Coast of the United States. I don’t need the money. Beacon of Hope lives in rural Nigeria. He does.
Any donations, ad revenue, or subscription revenue generated by this website goes directly to Beacon of Hope. The money doesn’t corrupt my writing; in fact, now it motivates it. Any revenue generated by my writing makes a substantive difference in his life.
I find that very rewarding.