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Call me crazy, but I don't think it's unreasonable to hold one's purported friends to the same (perhaps unrealistically) high standards as one would their employees.

This is a philosophy that has gotten me in a fair bit of trouble over the course of my 19 years, but I would like to think that it has some validity. After all, beyond all else, friendship is, to me at least, and hopefully to others, the most sacred of all human institutions. After all, the degree of trust one extends to their closest friends is greater than that extended to an employee, acquaintance, or in many cases, a committed lover or spouse.

Thus, I find it natural to find myself burning with righteous indignation whenever I perceive that trust to have been violated. When someone who claims to be my best friend cancels plans on me to hang out with her new boyfriend, I question the validity of that friendship. When that same friend breaks promise after promise, I lose respect for her. Can this be called unreasonable?

Outside of friendship, all other relationships can probably be categorized into the catch-all term "business." If one's business partners routinely fail to show up for meetings, or fail to follow through with their obligations to you in one way or another, the action taken by most sensible businessmen would be to terminate that relationship and minimize the damage to their own affairs. If one considers friendship, as stated above, to imply certain obligations, certain responsibilities, can those same actions be considered anything but equivalent?

At this point, the problem becomes clearer to me: modern American society is unequivocally derelict of honor. Think about it: as one friend of mine put it, here in America, (I live in Texas; local laws may differ) it is permissable to defend one's VCR with a gun, but not one's honor. Until rather recently, a slight upon one's honor, was worthy of combat to the death. Has this shift in societal mores really benefitted us? I ask that question directly, rather than rhetorically, and I would greatly appreciate anyone's opinion on the subject. I understand, of course, that a slap in the face from a trusted friend is completely subjective, whereas the theft of property is not, and that in such a highly legislated society such as ours, certain protocols must exist, but it seems fundamentally wrong to have no recourse in such a situation.

Jesus may have taught us to turn the other cheek, but what happens when that one is also slapped? A man can only be bent so far before breaking. How much can a man be expected to take?

I'm tired of masking anger
With humor and diplomacy
I want to scream out all the fucked up things
We both know about you
Embrace the honesty

-Ten Foot Pole, "Shelter"

And that is the state in which I find myself. I'm no longer willing to let myself be subject to the whims of those who fail to recognize the sanctity of honesty and friendship. With full cognizance of the possible consequences, I am telling myself that I will no longer capitulate to whatever need I might have to maintain diplomacy with those who respect me little enough to continually fail me, to continually violate my trust. I don't know if I'm ready to shut those people out of my life, but I can no longer conceal my true feelings. This has to stop.

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