I would venture to say there are very few of us who have not felt or been betrayed by someone or even a circumstance. In retrospect, we often can see that the erosion of our trust happened little by little – even under our unsuspecting noses. And it’s painful. It’s infuriating.
Betrayal comes like a thief to the unsuspecting heart or the oblivious friendship stealing away what is most sacred. It is masked by false friendships and armed with motivations such as jealousy, idle gossip, pride and arrogance. And it almost always happens with little regard for the outcome. Recently the piercing arrow of betrayal has found its way into our lives, and I cannot think of many things more torturous to one’s confidence in humankind.
Oh, the questions we’ve asked ourselves silently and aloud. “Why?” “How could he? How could she?” The answers are not there – and may never be found. Yet through the devastation, confusion, self-doubt and anger, we’ve discovered a strength that only comes through the questioning. It’s so hard for us to wrap our minds around being manipulated because SB and I don’t operate in that manner. We curse the pain because we would never intentionally hurt someone ourselves. And the only compartment we can truly find to place such betrayal is in the pity box.
We pity the ones who have caused us sleepless nights and such hurt. We pity them because we know that all we really leave behind in this world and in the lives of others is our word, our integrity. And they have none. If they continue doing to others as they’ve done to us, their legacy in this world will be the example of what not to do.
What comes to mind are basic life lessons most every kind person learns early in life. Somewhere along the way, simple human kindnesses are exchanged for selfish motivations and the fallout can change the biggest heart needlessly.
Like Robert Fulghum reminded us in his book, All I Ever Needed to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten, it doesn’t hurt to remember how to treat others: “Share everything; Play fair; Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody; When you go out in the world, watch for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.”
What we put out into the world, truly does come back to us – any five year old knows this.