|Webster’s Dictionary defines the word “betray” as: 1. To fail or desert in time of need. 2. To mislead.
The most famous betrayal in history might well be when Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus. Unfortunately, betrayal has continued to rear its ugly head down through the ages; even today, in any number of ways, it’s perpetrated by people who have ulterior motives or are sometimes egged on and intimidated by third parties. One example of present day betrayal could well be the Benghazi scandal, wherein our military troops were delivered up to the enemy and left to die.
Unimaginable betrayal can even come from a friend or partner who has always been seen as honest and forthright, of unimpeachable integrity, and who has proven himself to be a cherished and trusted friend over time. Yet in the hour of need, the unthinkable may happen: the friend can betray his partner. Betrayal can be done by revealing some truth that should not be revealed, by out-and-out lying, or by remaining silent when the truth needs to be told. “Sins of omission,” as they say, or remaining silent, can be just as damaging as the “sins of commission.”
The one who is betrayed will always be astonished, shocked, overwhelmed and even saddened by the fact that one’s friend, one’s partner, could ever do such a thing. It’s no wonder that many people find it hard to trust others in general, when one’s own longtime friend or partner has turned against him, whether for profit, to protect his own reputation or job, or because he was coerced into doing that deed by some authority who convinced him it was the “right” thing to do.
Everyone enjoys their personal friendships, and feels blessed to have such friends. However, many discover the true value of their friends when the chips are down, so to speak, because it is precisely then that we need to be able to count on our friends to do what needs to be done.
This newspaper, along with confirmed police sources, heard and witnessed an astonishing betrayal of a friend right here is Las Vegas, during a recent legal deposition. A police officer who had been partners with another police officer for a very long period of time, and who knew his partner was wrongfully and maliciously attacked in a variety of ways by co-workers, and who also knew the physical damage it was causing and had caused his partner – including heart surgery and a possible medical disability retirement – looked the questioning attorney in the eye and betrayed his longtime partner by not telling the truth.
The look on his face told everyone in attendance that he was telling a lie, but that didn’t seem to matter; he betrayed his partner and friend, and by so doing, would forever be viewed as a modern-day Judas.
From now until time no longer matters, that Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officer will know that – just like Judas Iscariot, who tried to return the thirty pieces of silver he took in payment for betraying Jesus – his betrayal of his friend and partner can never be taken back so that all can be made whole again. He has branded himself a liar, and it is tattooed on his heart. Every time he looks in the mirror he will see the reflection of a Judas, and his friend will forevermore be saddened by the fact that his partner betrayed him in his hour of need.
The hard lesson learned here is that trying to surround yourself with like-minded people doesn’t always hold up, especially in a crisis. In this case, having faith that your friend is like you in that you both had an indomitable will that could not be shaken, broken, or caused to bend over or cave in, was misplaced, and it would take more than a moment to figure out what went so wrong.
The consequences from that event are ongoing. We may never know what exactly causes a friend to turn on a friend, or a partner on a partner, especially by lying, but we do know it is not confined to any one career field, or type of job, or type of person. Betrayal can be suffered by anyone, if there is sufficient reason for the betrayer to go over to the other side.
Honesty – especially when it counts most, if not all the time – should be an ordinary thing. Who would want to work side-by-side with a person whose words could not be trusted and whose actions could not be counted on to do the right thing? And if anyone should ask such a person, “Are you telling the truth?” how is his answer to be trusted, since the liar will of course say “Yes.” That is what liars do.
This newspaper and editorial staff would like to remind everyone that there is not enough money in the world to take the place of your integrity, nor to replace what you will have lost when once you betray a friend.