Loyalty: Person vs Values

loyaltyIn the current age of 24-hour news and the interconnectedness of so many previously disparate sources, it has become routine to look at news and almost on a daily basis, finding compromising revelations about other people, products or companies, especially those in the spotlight. People that had a certain persona are turning out to have everything from previously unknown character flaws to committing unimaginable atrocities. We are talking of not just movie stars, politicians or athletes, but of local mayors, clergy men and business leaders. Anyone and everyone relevant to you. People that were once revered new seem fallible. It seems like hypocrisy is becoming quite difficult. Of all the layers to all these stories, the one that intrigues me the most is whether our loyalty should be to people or to a set of values?

The question gets complicated when there are people who represent your values making it difficult to decouple the two. But that is in fact worth exploring. We loved Bill Cosby because he represented a set of family values on a fictional TV show while at the same time of the show, he is being accused of raping women. I could give another dozen examples of this from the last two weeks alone. Fans will be silent when a player on their team makes a rough-play penalty but boo vehemently when an opposing player makes the same penalty. For most fans, the loyalty is to the team, not to a set of values.
Whether it is time to decouple people from values and become loyal to the latter and not the former is up to you. What is increasingly clear, however, is that loyalty to people is a risky way to live out your values. It is easier to emotionally connect to people than to values. We can see, touch, and hear people but not so much our values unless we are crystal clear on what they are and the role they play in daily activities.
This week, assess your loyalties and values. Are you sure you know exactly what your values are? Try to match those values with the people you are loyal to. How many are a perfect match? The lower the number, the more credible your answer.  What kind of loyalty do you want? You will find something very powerful in this exercise – people will be more loyal to you for being loyal to a set of discrete values than for being loyal to other people.

This week, assess your loyalties and values. Are you sure you know exactly what your values are? Try to match those values with the people you are loyal to. How many are a perfect match? The lower the number, the more credible your answer.  What kind of loyalty do you want? You will find something very

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