What’s the difference between loyalty and blind loyalty?
I’ve given this topic a lot of thought lately.
We all value loyalty: in friends, teammates, coworkers, and certainly in relationships.
But at what point do we hold loyalty above all else?
Is there a point where our allegiances become unhealthy, the price we have to pay just not worth it?
First off, what is loyalty? (Because the word may mean different things to different people.)
According to Dictionary.com, the definition of ‘loyalty’ is:
And there are other meanings, including:
It’s such a strange term – so subjective and ephemeral yet as tangible as brick in its expectations.
But even more so is this idea of blind loyalty. That’s our unquestioning, unflinching, and unexaminable faithfulness.
Are we supposed to offer blind loyalty in our relationships and commitments? Or just loyalty? (And isn’t the mere fact that there’s a slightly lesser form of loyalty contrary to the entire concept?)
How often is our loyalty tested? At work? In friendships? In those familial relationships?
And at what point is loyalty to others counterproductive to our own best interests?
What’s the real answer?
As I look at my firm coming to the conclusion of its first ten years, my marriage in its tenth year, and so many other relationships along the way, I think about how to characterize them all in one word.
And the one thing that keeps coming to mind is the word ‘consistency.’
Consistency may be what we’re really striving for – and value most.
Consistency is always knowing that you are there for that person, family, or organization; it’s having the knowledge that no matter what, you can count on them – and they, on you.
Even our personal growth is based on consistency, the fertile soil from which we can sprout and branch out.
From time to time, we’re all faced with challenges and conundrums that strain our loyalties. Life doesn’t fit into a perfect box. There are often shades of gray, and those spaces in between are often the hardest to navigate.
And I would submit that there are no greater challenges than those arising from our individual relationships and the decisions we have to make.
Life is so short; too short. So, choose wisely who you bring into that very special inner circle of yours. Be loyal to them, but also strive to be consistent so that others may grow in your light.
And, most of all, don’t forget to be loyal to yourself.