Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Judas By Any Other Name

Betrayals often seem like cool things. In movies and on television they are often dramatic and fascinating. Real life betrayals are often less so.

There are many kinds of betrayals. Big betrayals. Small betrayals. Breach of faith betrayals. Cheating, lying & stealing. All these are forms of betrayal. There are corporate betrayals, private betrayals and family betrayals.

All betrayals have at least two parties - the betrayer and the betrayed. There may be more parties involved - i.e. victims of the betrayal, accomplices and witnesses of the betrayal.

All betrayals involve issues of trust. Dishonesty, concealment and breaking ones word are clear examples of breaches of trust.

In this world, some folks betray others constantly. They lie, sometimes pathologically, cheat them and betray them. What's worse is that often they feel no remorse for their betrayal. They justify their betrayal and sometimes over time they even hypnotize themselves into fully believing their concocted justifications. This often leads to repeat offenses and sometimes the betrayer no longer is even aware of their actions.

Some betrayals are obvious and some are submerged so deeply as to reside next to the Mole Man in his subterranean lair. And like that pole wielding Mole Man they are averse to any light that is shined upon them.

Betrayal is often a sign of contempt or disrespect. If one does not like or respect someone it is so much easier to betray them.

Betrayals seldom have a happy ending. This is true in real life as well as on film. The betrayer is usually themselves betrayed, or their actions cost them something they valued dearly.

The most famous betrayal is that of Jesus by his disciple Judas for thirty pieces of silver. In some ways this betrayal is the classic betrayal. The betrayer knew Jesus and had been treated only kindly by him. Jesus did not hold this man in contempt, but instead only wished him to be aware of his predicament, actions and consequences. As classic and infamous as the Jesus portrayal is, it pales next to the worst betrayal of all - the betrayal of oneself by oneself.

How is it possible to betray oneself you ask? Self-betrayal is common. We all betray ourselves when we fail to use our own wisdom and intelligence. We betray ourselves when we ignore the still small voice within that knows right from wrong. Soon,we can become habitual self-betrayers if we do not look closely at every action in our lives. Yes, self-betrayal is the most important betrayal and the one which often goes unnoticed until its produced significant damage.

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