Man, that is a STRONG word.
I struggled over writing this blog. I try to keep the things that I write on a general level. I don’t call out specific names of anyone I may be speaking of, etc. Of course, if you know me, you know who I’m referring to in my last breakup, who my children are when I refer to them, who my family is, things like that. But for the most part, this blog is just a general compilation of stories and life lessons that I’m trying to pick up along the line. Healing through my pen, I guess you can say.
This entry will be no different.
However, a few things in my life lately have brought up this touchy, sensitive, ever-important subject of loyalty.
Do we even know what that word means anymore? Well, here’s how MacMillan Dictionary defines it:
support that you always give to
someone or something because of your
feelings of duty and love towards them.
You know what stuck out to me in that definition? The word “always.”
How many people in your life can you think of that you always support simply because of your feelings of duty and love towards them? If you’re like me, you probably want to shout out a list of names and defend your own loyalty to the death. But really. I want you to think about this.
When a friend asks a favor of you, or asks you to do something because it means something to them, have you ever tried to talk them out of it because you thought they were just being silly? Be honest. Have you? Or have you refused to do it altogether because you disagreed with them, or because you may have just had your own personal reasons for just not wanting to do it? I have. I’ll admit it. I’ve let my own ego get in the way at times. We all have. Or, have you given unwarranted advice to someone? Told them that you think how they are behaving or what they are doing is “wrong.” I’m guilty of this one too. I have acted like I know better than they do and that they are just confused or being childish, and tried to ‘lead them down the right path’ and give them what I thought to be helpful advice and guidance.
But having been on the receiving end of this lately has caused me to put some serious thought into it. Is that behavior showing loyalty? Is it?
I think maybe it’s just being bossy.
I found this picture in doing my (limited) research for this loyalty blog:
Wow. Think about that. Really think about it. What’s more important to you? Being “clever” and “wise” and spouting off all of your possibly unwanted knowledge to someone about how much better they can be by behaving a different way? Or maintaining a friendship by just showing support and loyalty, and believing that they, like you, also have a brain. They may be in troubled times, may even be a little misdirected at times, but they know better than you do about what they need for their life. Before showing “tough love,” ask yourself where that tough love is coming from. Is it coming from a true place of love and concern, or is it just wanting to boost your own ego and show your own cleverness by showing how much more you know than they do?
Rather than trying to impart your own principles, morals, ethics, etc., on someone else, how about just be a friend? Ya know? Show loyalty and support. Just be there. Do whatever it takes to help them – by doing what they need, not what you think you should do. Sometimes you need to “do unto others” as they ask you to. Not as you deem fitting.
Put ego aside. That’s all I’m asking. If they ask you for help, give them what they ask for. Be loyal. And if they don’t ask for help? Just hold their hand and be quiet. Sometimes that might just be all they need.
And if you can’t do that? Then maybe, just maybe, it might be time to move along.
“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”
– Dalai Lama
Nice piece. When did you get to be a writer?
Thanks, Bob! I’ve always been a writer, I just didn’t tell anybody.