Issue No. 33
I. Why Important
II. What is Loyalty?
III. Aspects of Loyalty
IV. Loyalty and Principles
V. Loyalty and Spirituality
VI. Developing Faithfulness and Loyalty
Loyalty is one of the indispensable qualities of a noble character. Unfaithfulness to a duty or commitment is looked upon as a serious fault in a person, such that others no longer put their trust or reliance on such a person. Employers try to avoid such employees, people evade such kinds of friends. It is very hard to succeed in life when one is known to be unfaithful or disloyal. Even in the higher life, faithful adherence to principles is a prerequisite to spirituality.
To be loyal is to be faithful to a person, a cause, an organization, an ideal or a custom. To be faithful means that one is true and constant in affection or allegiance to something. One does not say one thing and do another. There is integrity in oneself.
Loyalty is adherence to a commitment to a duty that one has accepted, whether such commitment is implied or expressed.
1. To be loyal to a person or cause means that one shall not knowingly do something which will injure or harm the person or the cause.
Backbiting is a form of disloyalty, although a lot of people are not conscious that it is being disloyal. I/one is to be true to a friend, it is best to give all honest but sincere feedback to the person privately, even if it means that the friendship may be endangered.
2. To be loyal means that one will always work for the welfare of the object of loyalty, whether a person, organization or cause.
Loyalty to a person or cause means that one loves that person or cause, and love implies selfless dedication for the betterment of the beloved.
One’s loyalties can conflict with each other. It can be loyalty to two friends who are quarreling. Or it can be conflict between loyalty to a co-worker who has done something wrong, and loyalty to the organization both of you work for.
In all of this, there is a deeper loyalty which is more fundamental than the others — loyalty to basic ethical principles. When one has discovered the importance of fundamental values or principles such as honesty and justice, then one finds that all other loyalties are subordinated to these.
Example: We must be loyal to our family members. But what if a loved one has committed a crime? Will your loyalty be to the person or to justice?. How many times have we read of kings or presidents who permitted their relatives to be prosecuted or jailed i/the latter has committed some misdeeds.
Quezon: "My loyalty to my party ends where my loyalty to my country begins."
Adherence to principles is a prerequisite to the spiritual life. It is loyalty of one’s higher self to perceived ideals, as opposed to the loyalty of the personality to things it is attached to. Spirituality means that one has somehow awakened to this higher reality and there is no longer any doubt as to which is more important in the long run.
1. Stick to your commitments, especially the small ones. If you have a commitment to go to a meeting, go. If you have promised a small thing to your children, do it, no matter how apparently trivial.
2. Let your commitments be consistent with your most basic values. If you value justice, for example, then do not commit to something that may compel you to do something unjust.
3. Review your basic values. Clarity as to what values are important to you will help you choose what commitments you are willing to accept and what to reject.
4. Do not be afraid to say no to someone if it means that you will become unfaithful to a more important cause or principle. Helping a person to do something dishonest is not exactly being loyal to him or her.
5. Be true to yourself, and do not try to accommodate others to make you do unprincipled acts just to please others. Try not to appear other than what you are.
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to ally man. — William Shakespeare
Copyright 1995. Permission to reprint is granted provided acknowledgment is made to:
Theosophical Society in the Philippines, 1 Iba St., Quezon City, Philippines
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