Et Tu, Brute?

I like to live my life as simply as possible.  I learned early on, from my mother and days at Sunday School, to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

I’ve tried, for most of my adult life, to choose to see the best in people.  To assume they are generally “good guys.”  I would hate, really, to walk around and hold everyone with suspicion until they prove they are trustworthy.  I want to be everyone’s “friend.”

Realistically, I can’t be everyone’s friend, of course. Personalities, values, attitudes – all play a part on who becomes part of one’s “inner circle.”  While it’s not possible to BE everyone’s friend, it is possible to be a friend to all people….make sense?

There are some people who have been in my life for almost three decades.  Well, two and a half, at least.  We have broken bread together, we have cried together over heartbreaks, we have laughed together, we have prayed together. We have enjoyed each other’s children and watched them grow up.  We have drifted in and out of the edges of each others lives, but every time I saw your faces or heard your names, my heart knew that we were “friends.”

But apparently, I was wrong – I consider everyone a friend until they prove otherwise.  And that opens me up to a world of hurt.  I’m in a business where loyalty is tenuous at best. Loyalty is often not something to count on. But friendship – that’s something to count on, right?

Apparently not.  So, as I sit here and contemplate how betrayals happen among friends, all I can say is “Et tu, Brute?”

It’s not going to change my outlook much – but can a heart really survive many callouses before it becomes hard and leathery? I hope so.  I don’t ever want to be the kind of friend that betrays another for any reason. When people encounter me, I want them to smile fondly (or at least, indulgently), not wince with pain remembering our last encounter.

Et tu, Brute – I will remember the good times. And smile, through my tears.