To some people loyalty is just a word, something to tie someone down with and keep them hostage to an ideal that they don’t believe in. To others it’s everything, and it’s the only thing that really matters. In a very fundamental way loyalty is the glue that holds people together and the bond that keeps folks from pulling away so easily. It’s not always an easy proposition but it’s something that you don’t enter into halfway. Once you give your loyalty to someone then you’ve made it clear that you’ll be there when you need them no matter what.
Sadly not everyone feels this way. To those that don’t understand the idea of loyalty it’s only a word, a faded thing that is meant to be given conditionally and can be taken away whenever they please. In some cases it might be wiser to never grant loyalty to someone if you feel they can’t or won’t reciprocate, but some people can’t help but be loyal to people simply because they want to believe that they can change them.
It doesn’t always work that way however.
You can’t force someone to be loyal.
Strictly speaking that’s not loyalty if you can do such a thing. Those that willingly pay people or coerce them into granting their loyalty aren’t earning that kind of respect or following, they’re taking it based on the fact that if the other person doesn’t remain loyal they’ll take everything from them in return. Many upon many bonds throughout this world are based on this, in fact that’s a part of how countries are formed and governments are kept in place, that false loyalty. At this point in America the only reason why a lot of us are loyal to our country is fear of repercussions if we were to take the kind of actions that some have given voice to. There is loyalty to this country simply because it’s our home, but to those that run it the loyalty that some give is a misguided thing while with others it’s based upon fear and mistrust, which is never a stable base to work from.
Loyalty is a choice.
You get to pick and choose who you think deserves your loyalty and who you’re going to give it to. Obviously some of us don’t make the wisest choices but that’s a part of how we learn. The moment you decide to grant your loyalty to someone however that means that you’re in it for the long haul or until they prove that they were a poor choice. There’s no need to stay loyal to someone that won’t do the same for you, though many do just this based on the fact that they think that being disloyal is immoral, but they can’t bring themselves to sink to the same level. Loyalty to someone that won’t give it back is an instant deal-breaker for many however, and will call for an immediate expulsion of that person from their lives, even if it’s a temporary split.
Loyalty is important because it denotes integrity and a strong moral character.
You could be the worst human being in the world, the most vile criminal that ever lived, and yet if you remain loyal to someone or to your own ideals then at the very least you’re better than someone for whom loyalty is just an idea to use when they desire it. Loyalty is the backbone of many a relationship, and it serves as a basis of a good and stable pairing of individuals. Be it a partnership, a marriage, or any other type of bond that is shared between individuals, loyalty is a large part of what keeps anyone together.
Without loyalty there’s no trust, and without trust there’s no point for humans to be around one another.