Whatever happened to fidelity? That quality of faithfulness, dedication, loyalty, and constancy seems in short supply as we see politicians, movie stars, and business moguls regularly betray trust and exhibit bad judgment.
The professed reasons are plentiful: “just couldn’t help myself,” “wasn’t getting enough attention at home,” “momentary lapse in judgment,” or” need for treatment.” How about this one – “didn’t think I’d get caught.”
This epidemic has made us a more suspicious people.
Let’s Hear It For Trust
We firmly believe that the greatest and most important ingredient to a successful relationship is trust. If you don’t trust your boss, how can you perform well? If your boss doesn’t trust you, how far will you go in the company no matter how well you perform? If you’re not faithful to your spouse—or if you think your spouse is not being true—how can the marriage thrive?
Imagine a world where you didn’t trust your priest, doctor, lawyer, business partner, banker, police officer or teacher. Even worse, what if you couldn’t trust your car mechanic to tighten all the bolts?—your pharmacist to put the right pills in the bottle?—your utility engineers to purify your drinking water? The fact is we assume these keepers of the trust are performing with clear minds and the best of intentions. Do we know for sure? No. We quite simply place our trust in them.
Too often we read about people on all levels of the socio-economic ladder who betray the public trust. It may be blamed on a personal failing or a lapse in moral certitude. It might be attributed to greed. Or envy. Or jealousy. The worst part about this increasing lack of trustworthiness and fidelity is that those who should be among the best role models for your teenage son or daughter keep falling like turkeys in a shooting gallery.
Be The Hero
So how do you teach your kids to be trustworthy and faithful in a world seemingly filled by people who have the moral fiber and backbone—not to mention the hot air—of a blow-up doll? Is there anyone left who isn’t on the take—who isn’t making a deal under the table—who isn’t bending the rules to get ahead? Have we diluted our values to the point where we can comfortably shrug our shoulders, utter a feeble apology and go on as if nothing has happened?
Dad, we’re here to tell you that while we all are far from perfect, we’re still the most important models of trust and fidelity for our sons and daughters. If we’re looking outside of ourselves for a hero who walks among us, we’re wasting precious time that we could be spending being the hero. The lesson we dads need to teach over and over to our kids is that a breach of trust is a broken relationship. Once you break the trust, it can never be fully restored.