I’m slowly reading a book called “Loyalty: The Vexing Virtue” by Eric Felton. It’s a fascinating book, discussing the good side and bad side of loyalty, how loyalties can conflict us, and how the ribbons of loyalty cannot be explained (my wording, not his). In an early chapter, Felton talks about the role of loyalty in war, and how soldiers / war prisoners were more likely to survive if they were with people they trusted. Being assigned to a new unit often resulted in an early death because no one knew you or cared about you.
One of the things I love about my favorite boy toy is how loyal he is. He supports me, follows me as I change jobs, and loves me pretty much the way I am. A love and loyalty like that makes my marriage strong, secure and comfortable. I can trust him and not worry about ulterior motives. My daughter is also loyal. She worries about us, shares new ideas with us, listens carefully and offers good advice to us. I trust her to do the right thing for us.
I think loyalty is very underrated in its importance, whether at home, in the workplace, or in our social lives. Nothing is more frustrating than a workplace where co-workers are throwing each other under the bus or not thoughtfully supporting each other. If the people immediately around are not loyal, others farther away will not be more loyal.
Loyalty is not always good – it’s not a substitute for thinking for yourself or sticking to your own convictions. My favorite boy toy and I have rejected advice from family & friends who wanted us to live their life instead of ours, walked away from neighbors who wanted to get too friendly, and had to work at deciding what was and was not right from us in many areas of our life.
The book is thought provoking and to my mind, informative about an emotion that cannot be easily explained. I don’t want to leave this post on a down note though, so here are ribbons fluttering in the breeze for today’s picture. It was taken a few months ago in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Word for tomorrow – TRADING. If you prefer to work ahead, see the list for the week under “A Word A Day”.
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