This I Believe

Libby - Newtown, Connecticut
Entered on May 29, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in loyalty. I believe that by putting my faith in others and learning to trust my peers, I have the ability to learn to be loyal to myself. I may have to deal with putting my faith in someone who will misuse it, but this is an obstacle that everyone deals with and should not be a factor in my decisions of trust. From loyalty, I am given the capacity to truly love.

“Hey, do you have any best friends?” My lacrosse teammate asked me this during our daily rock throwing contest while trying to stone as many of our friends as we could. While playing this mindless game, we discussed friendship. Last year, or any year previous to that, I probably would not have replied the same as I did to my teammate’s question.

After tending to the dirt marks that our stupid rock game had created on my limbs, I answered, “Yea, I have a few best friends.” I had been surprised at my own response, for up until this year I had never been extraordinarily open with anyone, and I still am not completely trusting. I have, though, tried to be a little less judgmental and a little more faithful, and from this I have been able to gain a few stable friendships.

I’ve found that throughout my life I have only put my trust in a limited number of people, but the number of these people has increased with time. These are the people who now come first in my life; these people are who I have picked as my true friends. These are also the people who I throw rocks at during lacrosse practice.

Loyalty is directly linked to true friendship. Imagine if no one was ever dependable or steadfast with one another. The world would be an extremely lonely place. There would be no relationships. No friendship or even the concept of being a good neighbor would exist. Without loyalty, hurting others would be the easiest task to complete. People would enter and leave our lives as often as the tides change in the ocean. Without loyalty would there still be the pain that comes with betrayal? Maybe it is this hurt we feel when our trust has been broken that makes loyalty such a highly regarded characteristic in society.

Although blind loyalty could get me into trouble, never being able to know what it feels like to be loyal could be just as harmful as being betrayed. By never trusting or putting my faith in anyone, I end up betraying myself. Either way I very well could end up as a victim of treachery, but in the end I can honestly say that it would hurt a lot worse to not have rocks thrown at me on lacrosse field and never experience friendship than it would to be loyal and get pelted with small pebbles.