By PAIGE BENJAMIN,
Central York High School
“Before you point your fingers, make sure your hands are clean.” – Bob Marley
Say what you mean, and mean what you say.
A basic concept really, yet somehow consistently ignored and overlooked.
I simply cannot comprehend why it is so difficult for people to stick to their word. What happened to the most fundamental and important virtues of humankind — trustworthiness, honesty and loyalty?
I like to call this combination of positive humanistic qualities the “The Relationship Trifecta.” And, unfortunately, it has become apparent that these beneficial integrities are being thrown out the window for superficial and self-righteous alternatives.
So, what exactly does it mean to be trusted? I find the answer to this question fairly obvious. To be trusted means to be held in close regard and graced with an intimate knowledge of another person’s secrets, problems and inner turmoils. With this knowledge, the person is trusted with the ability to empathize with his/her companion in need. To be trustworthy means more than to simply keep another’s business private. Trust also represents something bigger, deeper — and this is the unspoken duty of respect and honor to someone no matter what the situation.
Another aspect of The Relationship Trifecta is honesty. Speak your mind and share your feelings. I really don’t know how to make it any clearer. If you have a problem, let it be known in a mature and non-aggressive manner. If you made a mistake, apologize and own up to your actions. If you do not take responsibility for your faults, you will continue to find yourself in a vicious cycle of self-denial and regret for the rest of your life. Without an open pathway of communication, feelings are neglected and resentment begins to fester.
Lastly, there is the subject of loyalty — which I personally view as being the core of The Relationship Trifecta, whether in a marriage, friendship or companionship. If you give someone your word, then stick to it. If you don’t plan on following through with your actions, then don’t even discuss ludicrous fantasies and false hopes in the first place. I have learned that sugarcoating one’s true feelings in an effort to avoid hurting others can merely lead to more problems. Be upfront.
However, what aggravates me most about this disappearing virtue is the fact that people are not consistent in what they say. If I say you are my “best friend” and I “would be lost without you,” then I mean it. I would never betray you. As the years have gone by, though, I have noticed that there is less and less of an emphasis placed on faithfulness and more on seizing the moment. Not in the sense of forgetting one’s cares, but in the sense of merely pleasing those who are presenting their opinion at the same time.
Be true to those who have been true to you and never forget all that they have done for you. And most importantly, never turn your back on those who mean the most to you. For if you do, you will find that you are left with a gaping void in your heart that will never be able to be filled quite the same way again.