The loyalty It is a form of devotion or fidelity of an individual with respect to a certain cause, which can be very varied: an interpersonal relationship (friendship, love, exchange), a State or a nation, an ideology, community or hierarchical figure. For instance: loyalty to the country, loyalty to the partner, loyalty to God.
There is no more concrete concept of what kinds of things a person can be loyal to, but it is a value highly appreciated in different human civilizations, which have linked it with honor, commitment to one’s own word, patriotism and gratitude.
In that sense, a person is loyal when give back what was received in a fair measure, when he does not turn his back on the community to which he belongs, or when he honors their affections with equal commitment. Contrary attitudes are logically associated with disloyalty, betrayal or dishonor.
Differences between loyalty and fidelity
While these two concepts they are similar and they are often handled synonymously, they are not. While fidelity points to full commitment to a person, especially for loving reasons, loyalty points to a cause or an ideal that may well be greater than a person.
Furthermore, fidelity implies a full exclusivity, while you can be loyal to various people and various causes. You can be faithful without being loyal, and you can be loyal without being faithful, paradoxical as it may sound.
Examples of loyalty
- Loyalty to the fatherland. The citizens of a nation are educated from an early age to feel a bond of fidelity and loyalty to their country, a commitment that can lead them to sacrifice their own lives in wars or that, in theory, should prevent them from providing information or resources to enemy powers. that may be detrimental to their homeland. Treason, in fact, is one of the most serious offenses in the penal codes and in times of war it used to be punishable by death.
- Loyalty to the couple. The degree of commitment acquired in forging a stable relationship as a couple is based on principles such as reciprocity of love, sexual fidelity (traditionally) and loyalty. The latter implies that the individuals who make up the couple always privilege the welfare of the other over their own or at least that of third parties.
- Loyalty to the family. This principle of obedience and love of family worked very well in the Italian mafias of the 20th century, for example, whose loyalty code meant never hurting members of the same clan. It is a tribal principle of commitment to the protection of fellow men whose breaking is ostracized.
- Loyalty to god. This form of loyalty is less concrete and defined than the others, since it is about the obedience and commitment of the individual or of the masses with respect to the guiding principles of a specific form of religiosity, whose norms are supposed to be dictated by God himself. So, for religious thinking, to abide by the morals and ethics of your church is to be faithful to the demands of the Creator over personal desires or needs.
- Loyalty to oneself. Loyalty to one’s own person is an essential element for mental and emotional peace, and involves committing to what is desired in life and with the values to which one, as a person, is attached, above the demands of the affections and of the punctual conjunctures. This type of loyalty to who one is with implies a margin of predictability, of sticking to one’s own principles and, in short, always loving oneself above all else.
- Loyalty in business. Although the business world does not adhere to affective commandments, it does so because of certain ethical and moral attitudes, which distinguish loyal businessmen from unscrupulous ones. Fidelity to one’s word, for example, or the retribution of preferential treatment in any measure, are forms of loyalty highly valued in the business world.
- Loyalty to friends. Loyalty to friends is essential to maintaining cordial camaraderie relationships. Friends adhere to an unspoken code of reciprocal commitment, which assumes them “special” among all known people, that is, trustworthy. Betraying that trust by spreading secrets, doing harm or in any other way, usually results in the breakdown of the friendship and usually the birth of an enmity.
- Loyalty to the party. Members of a political party are required to be loyal to the cause, that is, to defend and pursue the objectives of the party and not listen to the rest of the political spectrum. This fidelity can be taken to dangerous extremes in totalitarian regimes, where a single party rules and the sole suspicion of disloyalty can carry serious penalties for the accused.
- Loyalty to the supreme leader. In autocratic governments, in which power is delegated everything to a single person whose personality is worshiped, it is common to see forms of punishment and reward based on loyalty to the leader, that is, unquestionably abiding by his orders and designs . This also operates in religious sects strongly guided by a guru or spiritual leader.
- Loyalty to ideals. The ethical, political and moral principles that guide a person’s life and performance are usually unbreakable at any given moment, although they can (and usually do) change over time or adapt to the experience gained over the years. However, the renunciation of these ideals for economic convenience or in exchange for power is often seen as an act of treason and disloyalty to the assumed ideals.