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Loyalty: It’s a word we don’t use enough today as men. I want to talk about loyalty today. One of my favorite movies of all time is the Fellowship of the Ring – Lord of the Rings. The friendships between the major characters of The Fellowship of the Ring are the central themes of the movie. After all, at the end of Fellowship, Frodo doesn’t take Aragorn (strong, brave) or Legolas (fast, also brave) with him. Instead, it’s Sam who joins him. Sam insists on coming along because he cares for Frodo, and Frodo allows him to go because he can’t bear to go into Mordor without his dear friend by his side. It’s the loyalty between these guys that give them the strength they need to resist Sauron and bear the weight of the ring.

A friend’s loyalty is an excellent virtue. When loyalty in a friendship is missing, other values will indeed suffer in any relationship. As a man, we have limited time on our hands between all of life’s responsibilities. Sometimes friendship gets pushed to the bottom of the priority list. We may find ourselves choosing friends who aren’t loyal out of convenience. However, this is a quality that you should look for in a friend, as friendships can be very complicated at times. But loyalty between friends will hold the bond together for the long haul. I heard a quote one time that described a loyal friend: “If all my friends were to jump off a bridge, I wouldn’t follow, I’d be at the bottom to catch them when they fall.” Remember, a good friend is someone who walks into your world when the rest of your world is walking out.

“Good friends are hard to find, harder to leave, and impossible to forget.” Do you have a friend with whom you dare to be yourself? Do you trust them with thoughts that just about make you naked? Do you both say what you think (as long as it is genuine) and not feel on guard? Just knowing you are with someone who understands loyalty in your friendship, what a wonderful feeling that is. With this friend, you can weep with them, laugh with them, pray with them and never feel bad about exposing who you actually are. Remember loyalty is built up over time; very few people give themselves the time to be true friends.

What Will Being a Loyal Friend Do for you?

Loyalty makes us happier friends: While it may seem risky to commit our loyalty to something for the long haul, it can be quite psychologically rewarding. In trading quantity for quality, you will come to know the rich satisfactions available only to those who are willing to go in-depth with something, sticking with it through thick and thin.

Loyalty breeds loyalty: Living a life of loyalty does not just provide you with personal benefits. Being a loyal friend positively transforms society as a whole. Loyalty is contagious. As we live lives of loyalty, we encourage other men to do likewise. 

Loyal men can change the course of history: When great men of good character bail out of organizations that they feel have gotten off track, it simply becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy that occurs over and over again. When great men bail out of their responsibilities as husbands and fathers, there is no shortage of problems, with everything from family to the community as a whole that ensue. UNCOMMEN was started to encourage men to remain loyal to their commitments as husbands, fathers, and workers. If faithful men don’t stick around and work from within to be a force for positive change, these institutions will never improve; the family falls apart, and the impact becomes generational. Loyal men transform causes and organizations and families from the inside out.

Here’s your challenge: Who are you a loyal friend to? Who has been a loyal friend to you? Are there adjustments you need to make?

About the Author: Sam Casey is the Managing Partner at Banyan Creative in Matthews, NC.

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