Keeping a promise, fulfilling a commitment
"The scholar does not consider gold and jade to be precious treasures, but loyalty and good faith."-Confucius
"Loyalty and devotion lead to bravery. Bravery leads to the spirit of self-sacrifice. The spirit of self-sacrifice creates trust in the power of love." -Marihei Ueshiba
"Loyalty means nothing unless it has at its heart the absolute principle of self-sacrifice." -Woodrow Wilson
How to Teach Children About Loyalty
Connectedness, ownership, responsibility
Loyalty is an important character trait that can be identified each day through our actions. With children, practicing loyalty can lead to a greater sense of responsibility. Think of all the decisions we make each day that require us to know where our loyalty is to others and to oneself. From volunteering in our community to taking part with others in a team, being loyal to a cause, goal, or team can help us to realize how interconnected each of us are.
Elementary Age Youth
Children in elementary school are learn about loyalty every day through meeting others and learning to work together thorough sharing with others. Youth at this age are learning skills rooted in responsibility that they will develop and carry on for a lifetime. Adults can utilize a variety of activities to help children to learn what loyalty is in their lives:
Getting a Library Card:
Help your youth to get their first library card. This is a great opportunity to talk about the library system and how the library belongs to everyone in our community. Taking care of books as well as keeping ones library card in a safe place are great practices to develop loyalty to a system of learning and sharing with others. Brainstorm ways of how to remember to return books on time, and try a few of the ideas out. Check your local library for summer reading activities and youth readings.
Picking up Litter
This activity can be utilized with youth in a group setting, such as in your neighborhood or on a walk. Bringing garden gloves can help your group to protect their hands, and carry a sack to gather litter. This is an opportunity to ask youth what their thoughts are about taking care of where we live, and how the animals and people in our neighborhood are impacted by a clean, beautiful place to live. This activity can help us to learn about our interconnectedness with the environment and with our neighbors.
Middle School Youth
Youth in middle school are asked what they are loyal to through developing social skills and circles, and how they articulate what they are loyal to at this age is critical to succeeding in school and their careers later in life. To help middle school youth learn about loyalty, the following two activities can be utilized:
Taking Care of Animals at a Local Shelter
Middle School students may be able to volunteer at a local animal shelter. This is an opportunity for youth to participate in a variety of activities, including walking dogs, bottle-feeding kittens, and feeding the newly arriving animals. Youth can learn what it is like to take care of an animal, and this can build loyalty through helping another being to grow stronger and healthier.
Volunteering at a Senior Center
During middle school, students are laying the foundation for future volunteering and community participation. Discuss volunteering at a local senior center. If your youth is talented with a musical instrument or reading, they can ask to take part in experiential activities with the center. One of the ways to learn about loyalty is to help others and to learn about other people's life experiences. Arrange a meeting with the senior center staff to brainstorm ideas of how to volunteer. Other opportunities such as meals on wheels can be an opportunity to learn about being loyal to a service project and the community members who depend on it for nutrition.
High School and Beyond
High school is a time when ones loyalty to various values and beliefs can shape his or her future. To make oneself ready to succeed in high school and beyond, it is important to highlight the aspects of priorities and responsibilities in many aspects of life, such as in educational and nutritional settings. The following activities can be helpful with high school age youth to learn about being loyal:
Being a Reading Buddy
Many high school age youth have skills that they can share with others, especially in the area of literacy. Many schools have reading programs where they can mentor a younger student through a "reading buddy" system, where they can sit knee to knee with a young reader to practice. Talk about showing up on time, and discuss what it means to build a relationship with your mentee. For example, helping a young person to feel at ease when reading with you and building trust through learning together..
Volunteering at a Community Garden
In working with high school age youth, learning about nutrition and where our food comes from through volunteering at a community garden can be a great activity to help show how being loyal to taking care of the garden can help one to be healthy, to save money on grocery bills, and to build a sense of community. Invite your youth to discuss what it would take to volunteer at a garden and to keep it running successfully on a day-to-day basis. Create a schedule of volunteer hours, and invite the youth to go shopping for groceries and/or to visit other local community garden or co-op with you to explore how farm to table in your community happens each day.
Hachiko: The True Story of a Loyal Dog by Pamela S. Turner
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Loyal Frayons by Maurita E. Kisor
Divided Loyalties: A Revolutionary War Fifer's Story by Phyllis Hall Haislip
How to bring trust and loyalty back to the workplace
If you want to retain your key talent, increase customer satisfaction and boost your company's bottom line, then you need to focus on re-establishing trust and loyalty in your organization. Why? Because studies have shown that there is a direct and positive correlation between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction. That is, when your employees are satisfied with what they are doing, they in turn direct those positive feelings to the customer, who rewards you with more business. Additionally, happy employees are stable employees, meaning they won't jump ship and go to work for your competitor after you've spent all that time and money training them.
The question then remains, "How do you build trust in loyalty in an economic environment that is very different from those 'fairy tale' days and that has slimmer margins and greater competition?" The answer boils down to communication – both what you communicate and how you do it. The following guidelines will help you build better communications, thus increasing both trust and loyalty.