There is a reason that Brutus and Cassius were placed in the lowest depths of the Inferno in Dante’s Inferno. They are punished in this poem for their assassination of Julius Caesar during the Ides of March (44 B.C.). Julius Caesar was the founder of the Roman Empire and a friend of the treacherous men.

If you look throughout world history, you will find that almost every culture deems treachery as one of the worst character defects a man can possess.

As I have said many times, I possess many defects in character myself. I work on them daily. However, I pray that disloyalty is not one of the most prominent.

Treachery means disloyalty. Unfortunately, it is too common a trait among our people. But, men and women who possess a loyal demeanor inherit the greatest honor that can be bestowed; a legacy of loyalty.

There are many examples of modern loyalty. Perhaps the best example is when an aging James Baker was asked by a member of the Gore campaign during the 2000 re-count dispute why he would jump back into service for the son of George H.W. Bush. It was a very good question.

Some people on Capitol Hill were astonished when Baker replied to the Gore aide with just one word, “loyalty.”

James Baker did not have a close relationship with Bush’s son, “W”. However, a careful look at the relationship between Bush Sr. and Baker explains why Baker chose to get back involved.

George H.W. Bush helped his friend during the worst time of Baker’s life; when Baker’s wife passed away too early for her age. Bush stood by his friend and with God’s direction lifted James Baker out of his deep depression by mere friendship and getting him back involved in politics. James Baker would eventually lead our nation during Bush’s presidency as Secretary of State.

James Baker did not need or seek political capital, money, or favors from the Bush family. He felt the need to stand by the people who stood by him during tragic times in his personal life. Period.

Loyal men and women stand by their friends during good and bad times. We all go through periods of trials and difficulty. It is during these times that loyalty either surfaces or becomes non-existent.

There are other examples of loyalty other than high profile political relationships. Father-Son, Mother- Son, Mentor-Student, Employer-Employee, Friend-Friend, Husband-Wife, and the vast examples of relationships between friends, family, and adopted family.

I have seen and experienced the powerful element of loyalty in my own life. My experience has been primarily within the legal and political arena and my own circles of friends and family.

The best example of personal loyalty for me surrounds the Sullivan family in Carrollton.

Since I was a child, Swede Sullivan has been my best friend. A month apart in age, we are both now in our early 40’s. He and his parents, Bobby and Nancy Sullivan, have seen me at my best and during periods of vast darkness in my life. The key element of this relationship is that even during the dark times, my best friend and his family have always been there for me, without question.

Treachery is what took the life of Gaius Julius Cesar. Though Brutus and Cassius committed one of the worst crimes known in Western culture during the Ides of March, they also taught us an important lesson.

Loyalty to a friend is more important than just about any character trait one can possess.