Someone said to me once that you can buy loyalty – I would have to disagree – you can buy compliance, subservience or even acquiescence, but not loyalty. Loyalty is defined as faithfulness or devotion to …. – I remember my days in the Marines – Semper Fidelis – always faithful, loyalty was king, but it wasn’t bought, and it wasn’t demanded, it was earned. Loyalty has to be earned, just like respect. Why do I write this? Maybe it was the news piece about a father who left his money to the dogs home, and not his daughter – maybe it was watching my children playing on the trampoline and wondering about their loyalties – now and in the future, and mine of course, to them and my family over all else.
It is easy to think about loyalty and imagine how loyal people are or are not – in the end there are few things that truly matter, family is in that list, arguably at the top for most of us but loyalty probably sits very close to the top as well, near respect. They may even be complimentary – without respect we show no loyalty? or are some of us like dogs – loyal in the face of all the evidence that says we should not be? Do we believe we have to earn respect & loyalty or do we think it should be a given? In terms of family most of us expect it – I would argue that a biological connection does not necessarily create an emotional or psychological connection. That if we want loyalty and/or respect from our spouse, children, parents, siblings, etc., then we still have to earn it. If we have to earn it with them – why on earth do we think we could get it from others without earning it? How do we think it is possible to buy or acquire either in any way other than earning it?