Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I am having a culture clash with my own culture these days. It has been a while since I've written here because life has been so full of transitions that I have not often had the time to sit down and reflect, but lately I keep bumping up against a cultural norm that really disturbs me: lack of loyalty. It just seems that today people's loyalties are very fickle. In marriage, in work partnerships, in all relationships, people are not willing to stick it out and work through problems like they used to. I even find myself tempted to do the same. "It's too hard, I'm too tired or too busy, I'll just stop going or stop calling and it will go away."

I hate when I think like that. Some of you may deem me ignorant -- I deserve that sometimes, too -- but I think there is still a place for loyalty in this world, and my culture in particular. One of the best and worst examples of it recently was George W. Bush, whose loyalty was admirable but led him to accept blame for many things others he trusted were doing. It also may have led him to follow them at times when more thought and debate was warranted, simply because he trusted them and wanted to be loyal. So, you see, loyalty can be good and bad.

But there is something to be said for the type of loyalty where people are there for each other through thick and thin. The type of loyalty that makes people run toward each other in times of crisis instead of running away. My Grandma Nora was like that, from what everyone tells me. She was never too busy to drop whatever she was doing and pray for someone or help them talk things through. She was the kind of friend people could depend on. I don't know about you, but I could sure use a few more of those.

There is something to be said for the husband who says "I am miserable. Our marriage is not working. I am very unhappy most of the time, but I choose to stay with you because we promised each other and God, and we need to work this out." That is a hard choice to make these days. And it is all the more rare, too, from what I see around me.

What about Jonathan who was loyal to his friend David even as Jonathan's father, Saul, was trying to have David killed? What about Paul, whose loyalty for Christ was so strong that he was willing to face the very torture and hardship he had once imposed on others in the name of God? How hard that kind of loyalty must have been?

Hard though it may, I think such loyalty is a quality sorely missing from our world today. That's why, despite the price he paid and the mistakes made, I admire George W. Bush for his loyalty, and I hope I can be loyal in the right times and for the right reasons. I hope my loyalty is strong and unfaltering. And I hope I can find some people who will be loyal like that for me, too. The world would be a better place.

For what it's worth...

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