Definition of loyalty
Loyalty refers to one’s quality of being submissive and committed to a given authority.
LOYALTY IN THE PRESENT SITUATION
There are things in life that people have to accept to obey and respect so as to live humanly with fellow people. These commitments are called loyalties.
LOYALTIES OBEYED /EXPRESSED BY UGANDANS TODAY
1. Loyalty to God. Ugandans show reverence for God for His Grace through repentance, prayers, Bible studies etc. This is commonly in form of revivals eg Charismatic in Catholics.
2. Loyalty to marriage. Married partners honour their matrimonial vows. Husbands love and provide for their wives as the wives stay submissive to husbands.
3. Loyalty to children. Parents, organizations and government support proper growth and rights of children to ensure a future of responsible citizens.
4. Loyalty to parents. Children respect, obey, and help their parents resulting into a a helpful and peaceful relationship.
5. Loyalty to education. Ugandans have embraced formal learning at all levels mostly due it’s universalisation (USE, UPE) and liberalization (allowing private schools).
6. Loyalty to work. Ugandans stay committed to their work activities in order to earn a living and also secure their jobs due to rampant unemployment.
7. Loyalty to leisure. After hard work, Ugandans get a time off work to relax, rest and restore energy. In weekends the engage in partying, worshipping etc.
8. Loyalty laws and the judiciary. Ugandans show respect for laws that govern the land but also the judicial authorities eg judges that implement them. This ensures order.
9. Loyalty to human rights. Government and independent agencies eg Uganda Human Rights Commission, FIDA etc are loyal respect of the fundamental human rights.
10. Loyalty to culture. Ugandans societies still revere their customs, norms and values to belong, and be identified. Cultural leaders thus enjoy their subjects’ loyalty.
11. Loyalty to the rule of law. Leaders in government now are loyal to acting within the constitutional bounds as citizens emphasize to them that nobody is above the law.
12. Loyalty to democracy. Ugandans generally believe in giving and having the political rights of taking part in the affairs of one’s country. This is through contesting for leadership positions, voting etc.
13. Loyalty to transparency. Officers obey to exercise their duties with openness and honesty. Also, organs such as Office of the IGG, Public Procurement Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA) etc ensure to fight graft.
14. Loyalty to government policy. The public obey and support government programs to ensure development and reduction of danger. People pay taxes, are counted in censuses, registered for ID cards etc.
THE DISLOYALTIES UGANDANS EXPRESS /ENGAGE IN IN THE PRESENT SITUATION.
Disloyalty is a quality in person of being uncommitted, unfaithful and sometimes acting contrary to the human good. Disloyalties include the following;
1. Materialism in Church. There’s great emphasis on business and wealth making in church through sermons and meetings. Religious leaders seem to be bent on worldly instead of spiritual riches.
2. Church leadership conflicts. Individuals supposed to exemplary live winning souls to God spend much of their time wrangling over various church positions. As a result, the flock shuns church.
3. Discrimination in Church. Although God is universal, there’s a tendency of favouring the rich and influential against the poor and children which is wrong.
4. Unfaithfulness in marriage. Some married couples do not abide by the matrimonial vows they make while wedding. They take part in domestic violence, adultery leading to divorce.
5. Influenced justice. The judiciary in Uganda lacks total independence from the executive. As a result, some rulings
Importance of loyalty
Being a loyal friend is of the utmost importance. Being a loyal business partner provides your co-workers and your clients with a sense of trust and security that will, in turn, be fruitful for the business.
When you give people respect and reassurance that they can trust you no matter what and you are able to substantiate it with your actions, you are being exactly what every other person should aspire to be.
You can be loyal to your parents and never do something that would upset them, you can be loyal to your company for teaching you all you know and you can be loyal to a friend that has been with you no matter what happened in your life and tried to never let you down.
No matter what the case is, being loyal is a quality that you need to develop and learn. Loyalty is not something that comes natural to every person out there. You need to learn it. Some people are loyal because they want to be, some people learn how to be after a really ugly experience.
YOU’LL FORM DEEPER CONNECTIONS.
Loyalty leads to feelings of security, which leads to better communication and deeper bonds.
YOU HAVE TO BE LOYAL TO YOURSELF, TOO.
Loyal to your emotions, beliefs, needs responsibilities, health…
YOU WON’T GET PASSED UP FOR WORK OPPORTUNITIES.
You can be great at a job, but if you aren’t accountable or you have a reputation for screwing people over, it’s much harder to grow and be rewarded for your work.
ONE DISLOYAL ACT CAN RUIN YEARS OF LOYALTY.
Might as well keep the good thing going.
YOU CAN BE LOYAL BUT STILL HAVE BOUNDARIES.
Being loyal doesn’t mean you have to put up with nonsense in life; it means you give people an opportunity to show you their true colors and then you make decisions that work for you.
YOU’LL BE QUICKER TO ACT WHEN IT COMES TO DOING THE RIGHT THING.
If you’re feeling the urge to cheat but just morally can’t allow yourself to do so, then you end a relationship before you cheat and simplify the whole thing for everyone.
PEOPLE WON’T BE OUT TO GET YOU.
No ‘eye for an eye’ plans are put into place if you don’t do something shady in the first place.
YOU’LL HAVE REAL RELATIONSHIPS.
It’s much harder to stay with someone who you know you shouldn’t be with when loyalty is a top priority. Things get real when you’re accountable.
Is there a worse feeling than knowing that you could have avoided hurting someone you care about?
YOU’RE MORE LIKELY TO BE TREATED WITH LOYALTY, AS WELL.
If you’re loyal, most people will be loyal right back.
YOU’LL HAVE MORE FRIENDS.
Disloyal people tend to blow people off when they make new friends, but if you’re loyal, you can just keep adding friends. Much more reasonable.
Forms of loyalty
Transactional Loyalty vs Emotional Loyalty
Emotional loyalty is the ultimate, where people will look to one particular person regardless of behaviour, convenience or other outside factors because they have a personal connection to them. I have a personal connection with my mother, father and family members because I stay with them and have been living with them for long.
Transactional loyalty is slightly different. That’s the retailer closest to home, or the one that consistently has the lowest prices. When certain conditions change – say a retailer opens even closer to home, or they have to raise prices – then the customer’s dollars are at risk of being spent elsewhere. My wife goes to the Greek place because its close and good enough (and because I guilt her into coming with me on occasion).
A conflict of loyalty exists when a person has a duty of loyalty to more than one entity and the interests of those entities diverge. A conflict of interest is a subset of conflict of loyalty and occurs when an individual’s personal interests create biases that may influence his or her professional actions or decisions. Even an appearance of a conflict of interest, whether or not tainted judgment actually occurred, should be avoided. Conflict of interest was addressed in earlier columns (see end of article); this column will discuss conflicts of loyalty as they may arise for psychiatrists, including some common examples and potential resolutions.
Conflicts of loyalty may occur when a physician serves on two committees for an institution, and the work of one committee is at odds with the objectives of the other committee or of the institution as a whole. For example, at a recent Colorado Psychiatric Society (CPS) Executive Council meeting, the institutional Policies on Advertisers and Exhibitors were reviewed. I was aware of a conflict between my loyalty to the CPS Ethics Committee, which may want to retain the old, more restrictive policies so as to prevent any appearance of allegiance to the pharmaceutical industry, and my loyalty to the financial health of CPS as a whole, for which a more liberal policy would be beneficial.
A similar conflict of loyalty may develop when a psychiatrist must balance institutional rules and patient preferences. For example, a psychiatrist employed by a mental health center may request an exception to the rule that a stable patient be transferred off a higher intensity treatment team because of the patient’s stated desire to remain on that team. In this instance, loyalty to the patient’s preference and respect for the patient’s autonomy to make treatment decisions are in conflict with loyalty to the institution’s procedures for maximizing efficient use of resources.
There are many loyalties to be considered but to keep this short I will just mention four:
1. Loyalty to your constituents, the voters. One is elected to represent them so they should be the first loyalty.
2. Loyalty to “your country, province (state), municipality”. Constituents sometimes want things that are not in the best interest of a greater body. There can be tremendous conflicts between rural areas and cities, cities and states, states and country. The seemingly simple matter of a city’s water supply can affect tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of people. Some of them will be adversely affected, by a decision that helps others.
3. Loyalty to “your party”. The party represents a far larger body of people than a constituency and the party may feel that its needs overshadow those of a constituency. The party will sometimes demand that and elected member support the party rather than his or her constituents.
4. Loyalty to “your associates”, be they members of your party or close friends and relations. An individual representative cannot accomplish much, if anything, without the support of others. To have friends you must be a friend and that means you must be loyal to those with whom you work. If you cannot support them, you must win them over to your side or risk losing their support on future matters.
How Christians deal with conflicting loyalties
It comes down to the question of loyalty – to whom are we loyal, who receives our greatest allegiance? In the Civil War, brothers who supported different sides in the conflict would still have been brothers but their allegiance to King or Parliament could have taken a higher priority and so the family would have been divided.
And the point Jesus is making is that he is looking for that first place of allegiance, that primary loyalty, in those who call themselves his followers. For many Christians today, at least those living in the West, the choices are less stark. They can choose to follow Jesus and their families or friends may think they are strange but it doesn’t always cause bitter division (although sometimes it can).
We live in tribes (nations) and the question of loyalty to our tribes often comes up, usually conflicting with our other loyalties: to family, humanity, religion, etc. The human species is a tribal species, just like the wolves and the gorillas. We depend on each other for our survival.
Resolving conflicts requires prioritizing our loyalties.
Since an individual group accepts the protection and nourishment of the larger group it depends on, the only moral conduct is to seek survival/welfare of a group ONLY through the survival/welfare of the containing group. If the two are in conflict, the needs of the containing group come first.
In this sense our ultimate loyalty should be to life. Life on this Planet is the ultimate containing group. We are all part of it. It nourishes us all. If we betray it, if we destroy it, we will have destroyed ourselves.
Morality is about survival of the whole we are part of. Just like at Nuremberg, claims of loyalty to country did not excuse crimes against humanity. There should be ‘crime against life’ trials for those busily destroying it. Like cancer cells in a body, we destroy the host giving us life. Guess what happens to cancer cells after the body dies.
We have to sort out our loyalties in a way that doesn’t destroy us. Each containing group takes precedent. My loyalty to my country has to take second place behind my loyalty to humanity. And my loyalty to my species has to come behind my loyalty to universal, interconnected, miraculous and fragile life we are all part of. It could take one dumb asteroid to destroy it. Or it could take one dumb humanity that developed too much power before developing enough sense. Morality could save us from that fate.
Loyalty to the tribe transcends blood-ties, friendship and sworn oaths. Nations do demand such transcendent loyalty in times of war and crisis, and people do comply to the best of their ability. But the cost to individuals and families is enormous: the psychological wounds inflicted by the sacrifice of self, spouse or child to the nation’s service are so deep and lasting, that the nation itself couldn’t survive such a condition for very long.
Paradoxical, but true. Most of the time, we need to be allowed to indulge the little local selfish loyalties that sustain and nourish us, so that we can rise to the higher level in times of crisis.
Conflicting loyalties tear at all of us who love our church and also love people of all kinds. How can I give a full commitment to love all people, and remain committed to the Church that does not? These are the questions that tear us apart, that divide Christians from one another.
We need to practice what all people are bad at: getting along, and seeing the beauty in one another. Who knows: if we get good at this, we may eventually learn to accept all people into full participation in the life of the Church.