The Scout Law Revisited: Loyal

A Scout is loyal and true to his God, his family, his friends, his school, and his nation.

We were taught from a young age that you are loyal, no matter what. Until your last breath. Not until it’s hard. Or unpopular. Or inconvenient. Until the end.

That’s loyalty. Loyalty means being devoted and faithful until the end.

When you’re young, this doesn’t mean as much. It seemed to be just a word I memorized and repeated several times a week. To me it meant loving and being devoted to your family, and being a good friend.

Now that I’m older, I see it in a different light. Loyalty takes on a different meaning when you’re fighting for your place in this world. As you get older and leave the comfort and protection of your home and the loving, protecting arms of your family, you seek a similar loyalty to what you received from them as a child. The kind of devotion that you don’t doubt, and that makes you feel safe and secure.

It’s a hard and rare thing to find.

Loyalty today seems harder and harder to come across. With the creation of social media, you are able to see and hear people’s opinions and perspectives from far and wide. Even when we talk about national loyalty, I sadly see people on a daily basis enjoying the blanket of freedom they’re provided, but then openly bashing and belittling our system and way of life. It’s very sad. It’s one thing to want and work towards changes, but to openly discard your loyalty and national pride…that’s a sad thing.

The same can be said for relationships. Increasingly, when the going gets tough…people walk. Rather than remaining loyal to a partner or promise and working hard to fix or find a solution for a problem, people walk away. It seems to be easier and more frequent as time goes by. The concept of loyalty seems to be just a word to many people.

In the workplace, this is also true. Nothing sums it up better than the following quote:

When we are motivated by selfish needs, that’s when loyalty disappears. Loyalty is about caring for someone or something as much as you care about yourself. It’s about self-sacrifice and devotion. It is a hard commitment, but those who give it tend to get it in return.

The Scout Law understood this, and drilled this into our heads. Today, I’m proud to say I would do anything asked of me for my family, my friends, my God and my country. That’s not always easy, but that is what loyalty is.

I hope it becomes an epidemic.

-Z

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