Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald: The value of loyalty

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Mar 30, 2009
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The value of loyalty

The actor Clint Eastwood was recently on the show “Inside the Actor’s Studio” with its entertaining host, James Lipton. As the interview was winding down, Mr. Eastwood was asked what quality he thought was the most important in a person. Old Clint didn’t hesitate, not for a second. He said, “That’s easy, loyalty.”

I got to thinking about his answer later and decided that he said a mouthful. Whether in a man or a woman, an employer or employee, a friend, a spouse, a son, a daughter, a co-worker, or a customer, loyalty is the glue that binds all our relationships. Loyalty is the currency of all interpersonal interactions, and it can overcome a host of other shortcomings.

Are you loyal to your employees? Do you consider their quality of life and do all that you can to improve it? Are you a loyal employee? Do you provide an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay or do you cut corners? Are you loyal to your co-workers and have their backs? Do you pull your own weight every day or do you let others step up to the fore? Are you a gossip?

What about your customers? Can you always say that you went the extra step? Do you treat them with the kindness and respect that you would like you and your animal to be met with? Sometimes it is a great exercise to step outside your body for a second and imagine how your clients perceive you and what their impressions of you are. Would they consider you loyal to them and their animal?

What about at home? Are you there for your old parents as they become more dependent on you? How about children? Are you consistently there for them or do you make excuses? Finally, consider your spouse or soul mate. Are you there for him or her or do you let your spouse down? Are you supportive and kind?

Loyalty may not be the most important virtue, but it lays the foundation for all the others. Being loyal can outweigh a lot of our other faults, and in many cases, it can redeem us and salvage our character. You cannot buy loyalty. You cannot put a price on it, and you cannot measure its value. You are getting it straight from no less of an icon than Clint Eastwood. Go ahead. Tell him he’s wrong.

See you next week, Kev