Loyalty. The Merriam –Webster dictionary defines loyalty as: the quality, state or instance of being loyal. Loyalty is also one of the seven ARMY values. There, loyalty is stated as bearing true faith and allegiance to the US constitution, the Army, your unit and other soldiers. Life is made up mostly of routine; we live largely by habit. Without reflection, we daily make hundreds of small choices that reflect our priorities. Those occasions when we are called on to make life defining choices are, thankfully, rare.
We cannot, therefore, take lightly or ignore those occasions when we must make decisions that define who we are and show what we truly value. It is at these times that the defining of our loyalties becomes most crucial.
We can live with the consequences of our decisions if we make them in a way that reflects the foundational beliefs and core values of our lives. It is questionable, however, whether we can lead lives of integrity if we make life-defining decisions based on fear or expediency or make decisions that betray what we truly believe to be right. At these times, often the worst decision that we can make is to make no decision at all, to take no action--when the times cry out for us to act. The one thing that none of us ever gets to do--is to live our lives over again. We must take seriously those rare times when we have the opportunity to demonstrate the courage of our convictions.
It is at these times that we must meet the challenges in our lives with all of the strength, reason, and hope that we can muster. We may long for the respect and admiration of others, but the one person whose respect we must have in order to lead full and honorable lives is our own.