So you’re sitting in a taxi waiting for the taxi driver who’s quickly buying some items at the service station shop. You haven’t paid him yet, and he seems to be taking a little too long. But as you wait, another taxi driver hails at you from the street, “Just let me take you where you’re going, that man is wasting your time!” Do you get into the new taxi or do you stay loyal to your own driver?
It shouldn’t matter right? Whatever you do in that situation will not have huge consequences after all…
We may not think about loyalty much, but it comes into play in many situations. That lady that was standing in front of you in the very long queue at the mall, the one that asked you to keep her place as she quickly went to grab another item from the shelf, do you allow her to return to her place in front of you? Or do you pretend you don’t recognize her and accuse her of trying to cut in line? And when your friends want to start gossiping about your other friend who happens to be absent, do you join in? Or do you stay loyal to your absent friend and defend her character, even if there’s no chance that she’ll find out how you behaved and appreciate you more for it?
There are many instances in which your loyalty may be tested. And you might wonder, why is it so important that we pass these kinds of tests? Why is it important that you choose loyalty over betrayal whenever you’re given the chance? I believe it’s because when you give other people reason to trust you, you also receive that same reason to trust yourself.
You see, in trying to define ourselves and to discover who we are, we always look for feedback from the world around us. So for instance, if you always outran your peers during your school’s track and field meetings, you might come to define yourself as athletic. And if it’s easy for you to imitate Mariah Carey’s singing, you might come define yourself as a good singer. In the same way, if it’s easy for you to copy Beyonce’s dance moves, you come to define yourself as a good dancer.
So what would happen if you see that it’s difficult for you to keep your word? What if you see it’s hard for people to depend on your good character and to rely on you to do what’s expected of a good human being? Unfortunately, in the back of your mind, you may start to define yourself as untrustworthy. And if others can’t trust you, can you ever trust yourself?
And because trust is one of those qualities that are developed over time after a lot of consistent little efforts and inputs, every time you give the world a reason to distrust you, you lose a little bit of your own self-trust. Every time you show disloyal behavior, you pay dearly from your trust bank.
So then, the next question you might be asking here is, “Why is it so important that I trust myself?” Well, you need self-trust to be able to to reach your best potential in life. That’s because, whenever you set goals for yourself, you need to be able to trust that you will stick to your own word, that you will be able to practice self-control and to persist till the end. But if whenever you set a goal, there’s constant doubt in your mind, you’re constantly asking yourself, “will I make it to the end? Can I trust myself to stick to the plan?” and at the back of your mind, that answer is always, “Probably not. I’m not in the habit of keeping my world”, you will struggle to muster up the confidence to chase any worthy goal. You will constantly find yourself giving up because you don’t believe in yourself.
Be loyal to others so that you can be able to trust yourself.
And as always, cheers to life!
Image Credits: “Holding Hands” by Deviant Art