Letters to the Editor

On sacred trust, honor and loyalty

By Jim Turner, Fairfield

To the editor:

Are sacred trust, honor and loyalty becoming anachronisms? And if so, why? Should we blame the secular humanists? The churches? The schools? Who knows.

Sacred trust is usually between two people. It happens when two or more people agree to keep a confidence, no matter what.

Honor is when you keep that trust, hold it sacred, whether the person trusting you has any way of punishing you if you don’t - other than losing their faith in you, of course.

Loyalty is about friendships, really. If you can’t be loyal to family members, you don’t really know what a family is. One should never agree with a friend when they are wrong, or be loyal to a friend when a matter of principle is involved. But standing by a friend when he is right, even if the whole world is against him, even if it is not in your best immediate interests to do so, that is a good definition of both loyalty and friendship.

I cannot stratify my friendships. You are either a friend or you’re not. I don’t say for instance that i have friends, good friends, very good friends and best friends. And when other people do that I wonder what my ranking is. Am I a second-rate friend or a first-rate friend? I am likely to find out sooner or later.

I love many people in my life. I am fond of and respect many more. But I only have a few friends. I call them “true friends.” Our friendship was tested many times in each case. They were loyal, honorable, and they would not, could not, betray a sacred trust. But even if they did, I would forgive them. True friendship is about forgiveness, too, not putting the burden of perfection on anyone.

I hope I may have reminded you of some of your true friends. They are people in our lives to cherish and be grateful for always. And they remind us of what the true nature of sacred trust, honor and loyalty are really about. They remind us that they still exist in this world, as strong as ever.