Loyalty… now here’s a word I think we don’t really hear enough about these days. Is it gone in today’s world? Not for some of us, and I am hopeful that it will continue on in our hearts and lives as well.
Merriam-Webster defines loyalty as allegiance, commitment, constancy, devotion, faithfulness … and much more. Frankly, I love the sound of those words!
I grew up in a close-knit Italian American family where we had a strong sense of loyalty to family and friends. It certainly was not an option, it was a command by my Dad, and it was the way we were raised. I learned a strong loyalty to those we love and a commitment to them as well…. And I realized later in life that not everyone was raised with that sense of “loyalty”, but I sure was glad I was.
Is it needed into today’s society? I think absolutely yes. People are running about to and fro like chickens with their heads cut off, doing whatever they can to keep their jobs, hold onto their homes, and emotionally and physically deal with all the challenges of raising a family and keeping close relationships in their lives. And, we are often so caught up in our own “drama”, we overlook the friend that is hurting or family member that needs us to step up to the plate for them. So… what do you do when that friend or co-worker needs you to take a stand? What are you going to do? Or your daughter’s best friend who is being bullied or left out by others in their “circle of friends”?
Although I don’t want to sit here and sound “preachy” as if I do the right thing all the time, I often find myself in the corner with the “underdog”, and I certainly don’t believe in “kicking someone when they are down.” It is easy to just ignore friends and family when they need you most, but it’s important to show loyalty, commitment and support at just the right moment…. when people need it most.
My sister, Carol, in the last months of our 95-year old Aunt Irene’s life, would go over to her apartment every day after school (Carol was a school teacher) and manage the hospice care, medicines, appointments, and whatever else needed attention. I helped, too; however, I worked later hours than Carol, so she made the daily decisions and managed the medical care as necessary. It was a very difficult scenario the last months, and Carol was really the epitome of loyalty and commitment to our Aunt Irene. (Aunt Irene had never married and took us everywhere as kids, all fun outings and daytrips when we were growing up. In turn, Aunt Irene did the same for our own children, so we were so blessed by her!) Carol has never regretted showing Aunt Irene the loyalty and devotion she so deserved, not even for a moment.
Sometimes when my girls were teenagers, (that viciousness that only teenage girls sometimes exhibit when they get together in a group) one girl would be left out. I challenged my girls always to stick up for that friend and do the right thing, remain loyal to their girlfriend who was ‘kicked” to the street” by her other friends. I try to bring to mind how we want to be treated by others, and I often remember close family and friends who remained loyal.
So what are you going to do when someone needs you to take a stand for them? Will you do it? Will you step up to the plate, do the right thing and remain loyal and committed to them?
I really challenge all of us, myself included, to do the right thing, to be loyal and trustworthy in today’s society where it is certainly not the “fashionable” way to go!
Until next time – you know I’ve got your back… and I am counting on you to have mine, too!
Your faithful friend,