Loyalty is key for me. I wasn’t surprised when I got this word. It serves as a great reminder to revisit what this means, especially as I experienced such profound disloyalty from so many this past year.
What is loyalty? Is it a virtue?Is it value based? Is it practical or sentimental? Is it faithfulness? A moral obligation? A promise? Is it unselfish? Is it earned or is it given unconditionally? Does it require an oath? Is it inclusionary?
What is disloyalty? Is it spiritual treason? Does this look like infidelity? Can one be honorable and disloyal? Is this selfish?
And HOW does one practice loyalty?
For further contemplation: Loyalty is defined as “anything to which one’s heart can become attached or devoted” may also become an object of loyalty—principles, causes, brands, ideas, ideals, and ideologies (Konvitz, 108). Royce himself argued that loyalty is the “willing and practical and thoroughgoing devotion of a person to a cause” (Royce, 1908, 16–17). In response, those who personalize the objects of loyalty point out that we have equally available to us the language of commitment or devotion and, in the case of what is spoken of as “loyalty to one’s principles,” we have the language of integrity.
Konvitz, Milton, 1973, “Loyalty,” in Philip P. Wiener (ed), Encyclopedia of the History of Ideas, New York: Scribner’s, Vol. III, pp. 108–16.
Royce, Josiah, 1908, The Philosophy of Loyalty, New York: Macmillan.