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“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968) 

Recently I went through a conflict at an online chat community, and I was amazed at who took up for me…and sadly, who didn’t. As a friend, we are hurt when we don’t receive loyalty. In this politically correct world, few people are able to stand up to the masses, particularly if it will affect their own position or popularity. But the words of our enemies will be long forgotten, while the silence of our friends will not.

I really don’t care what I lose, if I think a person is correct, I will defend them to my dying day. I also will stand up for someone when they are treated cruelly by others. There is little that hurts me more, than watching someone being mistreated, and no one comes to their aid. I will sacrifice everything to defend them.

As I read this quote by Martin Luther King, Jr., I realized that there must have been many times when he felt the silence of his friends. That must have hurt him very much. But he cared enough about equality, to keep fighting a very difficult and unpopular battle. And thank God that he did. At least at the end of the day, he could lie peacefully in his bed, knowing that he had pleased the most important One of all–God.

Our enemies can say and do things to hurt us mightily, but if our friends support us, we can face anything. If we feel that they understand our side of the conflict, and if they speak out about the injustice, we are able to go on. But when there is that deadly silence, we feel betrayed. Betrayal is an excruciating thing to experience. It is very difficult to ever get over. Jesus experienced a betrayal with a kiss, of all things. Judas. A person who appeared to love, but was getting ready to sell Him out–for thirty measley pieces of silver. And yet, once it was done, Judas could not live with how he had betrayed his friend. He committed suicide.

Sometimes we wish our betrayers might come to an awful end, but we don’t wish them death. Still, we do wish that they would come to realize, as Judas did, how wrong their actions were. But it is not likely. People tend to stake out a position and rationalize it. Not many are willing to admit that they were wrong, or that what they did was hurtful.

And so I have found that the only answer is to shake the dust off of your feet, and march on. Sometimes it is a learning experience about who to trust. But often you couldn’t have predicted it. It is so important that you don’t completely lose your trust in people, because we do need each other. There will always be those who let us down, and at times, we will also let others down. Broken trust is a human experience, shared by all, at one time or another. But we must not give up on people.

Friends (and lovers) can be the source of great pain, but also the fountain of our greatest joy…

Please see other articles that I have written here:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/109497/lonnette_harrell.html

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