Et tu, Brute?


Beware of your friends; do not trust your brothers. For every brother is a deceiver, and every friend a slanderer. (Jeremiah 9:4)

It’s a jungle out there, a Darwinian dog eat dog survival of the fittest three-ring circus.  There are wolves in sheep’s clothing, snakes in the grass, vultures over head, sharks in the water, Chihuahuas in Beverly Hills.  For thirty pieces of silver somebody will sell you up the river (27 pieces at Walmart) and if you’re not careful you may find that ill-advised photo of you riding naked on a llama popping up on every cell phone in America.

History is chock full of turncoats and opportunists.  There’s Judas, of course, who, if he didn’t start the betrayal business, brought it to Broadway.  There’s Brutus who tossed Caesar into a salad.  There’s Benedict Arnold, the American favorite, who bagged his revolutionary buddies for a stylish red coat.  Then there’s Tokyo Rose, the American gal who landed a radio propaganda gig for the Japanese during WWII.  These are only some of the most famous ones.  Opportunistic predators lurk behind every rock and email offer.  Even your friends may not be immune to leveraging you for personal gain.

Then again, maybe it’s not always the other guy.  Ever give your friend’s name to a pesky salesperson just to get them off your own back?  Ever take the biggest piece of pizza?  Ever leave just enough orange juice in the jug so the next person would have to wash it?  Ever ding the door on somebody else’s car and quickly disappear?  Ever do anything like that?  Did you?  Did you?  Hmmm?

Who can you trust then?  Well, apparently nobody.  I suggest that you stop looking for trustworthy people and learn to deal with reality.  And really, you’ve got to love those out and out scam artists—like those who email you about Liberian bank accounts or those televangelists who promise you health and wealth if you order their magic hankies.  These guys may be charlatans, but at least they’re genuine charlatans.

That’s why I’m a good investment.  I have no qualms about exploiting you for personal gain, but I am honest about it.  That must be worth something?


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