Napoleon Hill, the noted author once said, “Lack of loyalty is one of the major causes of failure in every walk of life.”
I think he was right. Loyalty is one of those virtues we talk about nostalgically. It was a virtue then – not so much now. In the distant past it was a character trait men and women wanted to have. You looked for it first in people you were going to do business with. When dating, it was a quality you longed to have in your partner. But we live now with the idea that relationships are expendable. Companies don’t show loyalty to their employees and employees don’t have any loyalty for their employers. You can be my BFF today and my enemy in a matter of minutes.
I want us to recapture the great virtues of the past including loyalty. I want you and me to be people who are loyal. The alternative is to be disloyal, faithless, undependable, unreliable and untrustworthy. None of those things needs to ever be said of us. We are living a ‘bigger life’ that certainly includes being loyal.
Well what’s needed? I think to be a loyal person you need to not overreact to difficulties you face. If you are breathing, difficulties will be happening. How you respond to them is the key. When I get caught up in a difficulty it is easy for me to become irritated with my wife Jane, or one of my sons, or a work associate. In a short amount of time I can start focusing on the problem and forget the value of the relationship.
An immature mind, pretty soon starts seeing the other person as the enemy. But they’re not the enemy. You love them, you’re married to them, they’re a friend, a parent, or child. You’re on the same team. Loyalty says, “Let’s stop attacking each other and let’s attack the problem together.” It’s a subtle shift in the way you look at the problem. Rather than seeing the person as the enemy, it’s good to say during an argument, “Hey, we’re on the same team. How can we work on this problem, together?”
If you want to love and respect people well, you must show them loyalty. Loyalty is one of the most powerful ways of expressing care toward another person. Let it be said of you and me that even though the culture didn’t reflect it or even necessarily value it, we were loyal people.