“Kenneth, the thing I don’t get is that he won’t even admit he betrayed me. He believes he’s innocent and hasn’t done anything wrong” she said
~ Yesterday a business associate of mine met me for coffee. In her late 30’s, a couple years ago she and a lifelong friend of hers created a fairly successful thrift store from scratch. They sell higher end, well maintained designer label clothes at a fraction of what it would cost to buy them new. Everything had been going really well the past couple years and their profits had practically doubled from the first year they started….until a few months ago.
Unfortunately, unbeknownst to her, sometime last summer her partner rented a building on the other side of town and opened up a brand new competing thrift store; he never told her. It was two months ago that he walked into the store, like any other day, and announced that he wanted to dissolve the partnership because he decided the time was right to have his own store that he owned all by himself.
“Kenneth, I felt totally betrayed. I mean, if he felt that strongly about opening up his own shop I would have understood. But instead, he spent much of the last year stocking up an inventory for his opening; time that I thought he was working on buying inventory for our store. He was basically doing double duty by working behind my back. And now the kicker is that since his store’s grand opening two months ago, my sales have suddenly been cut in half; because he was half of our business, he was responsible for going out and stocking our shelves…..now I’ve been forced to work behind the counter and in the back room, I’m completely out of energy” she lamented.
Sadly, her story is not the first story I’ve ever heard about betrayal. I share in her sadness, it sucks when people betray you. It makes it even worse when the person who betrays you won’t even admit what they’ve done. In most cases, people refuse to admit their wrongdoing. They somehow justify in their mind that what they’ve done was within the bounds of integrity and ethics.
I’ve been betrayed by people a number of times in my life and only on one occasion did someone come back to me and apologize. It’s a rare occasion when someone admits they wronged you.
In politics we see this all the time; men and women who make promises only to break them, and then refuse to admit they lied or didn’t follow through on their promises.
The current political climate in many parts of the world is at an all-time low. Last week David Cameron of the United Kingdom suggested that Europe is at the brink of a collapse once again, he believes this next economic collapse might be even worse than what we saw in 2008. And while everyday men and women might be an easy target to blame for politicians, the reality is that the majority of us simply have very little power when it comes to the economic decisions of our governments. When an economy fails the responsibility lies at the feet of its political leaders.
Here in the United States, it’s been six years since the housing bubble burst and millions of Americans were tossed into financial ruin. As we have so many times in the history of our country, we’ve battled our way back up; but not because of any damn politicians. And maybe I’m complaining a bit too much; but it really bothers me that not one single person has ever apologized for their part in the housing bubble crisis…..NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON.
Of course, we know many of the players involved in the banking deregulation and the other bad decisions that led to the crisis; but none of those people have ever come forward and admitted their role in the crisis.
Is it too much to ask of people to apologize? Is it too much to ask of people who have betrayed us to take responsibility for their actions?
Clearly I’m living in a bubble myself; a bubble in which I believe people should admit to their wrongdoing and take responsibility for their actions….oh well, I think I’ll just have another cup of coffee.
Categories: Culture & Society