I believe in loyalty. I can’t say with any certainty that I believe in much else. Some see the world as black and white, right or wrong. Others see shades of gray. I see color. Bright, bold, soft, soothing, and everything in between. Strong arguments can be made for and against all types of lifestyles or decisions and the majority of the time you’d probably see my hand raised in favor of both. I’m horrible at making decisions and when I’m 80, I’m positive I will look back and wonder how my life would have turned out if I’d decided differently. But one thing I can confidently state, is that I believe in loyalty.
I can’t experience everything this world has to offer. I can’t fix all of the world’s problems, or all my family and friend’s problems. Hell, I can’t even fix my own problems half the time. The one thing that I can and do consistently provide is my loyalty. You can be right or wrong, mean or grateful, but if you have managed to stake a piece of my heart, I will always stand by you.
Since childhood, I’ve been permeable to the emotions of others. Pain, frustration, excitement, joy… if you feel it, so do I. In a lot of ways it’s a burden. Most nights I lie awake wracking my brain for possible solutions to heal a hurt. On the other hand, when there’s something worth celebrating, I’m first in line to have a good time and honor the man or woman of the hour.
I suppose there’s a good reason for this weird attribute, and maybe one day I’ll figure it out. In the meantime my consolation prize for lost sleep is the knowledge that my friends and family know, without a doubt, that in good times and bad, I will be there. I’ll raise my glass for a toast, raise my voice in defense, hold out my hand for strength, or simply stand quietly in solidarity.
In a world full of change, inequality, and flat out raw deals, I hope that my friends and family can at least find a little peace in knowing that no matter what they do, they always have someone to turn to.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.