Loyalty is such an important quality in life that I’m not sure one can have a truly meaningful life without it.

When I consider the concept of loyalty, I think about the conviction to stand by something or someone that we value greatly, regardless of the cost. It isn’t thoughtless, but comes about over time and from a thoughtful evaluation of our own values and priorities.

True loyalty cannot be blind, if it is, than it’s nothing more than foolishness. We see this type of foolishness all around us on a daily basis.

Loyalty can take various forms. It could be to a cause–do you have something you feel strongly about? Something you’re willing to die for? Loyalty can be to an idea. Ideas can be inspiring. An idea that truly captures what we hold most near and dear is something we can be loyal and dedicated to. What is more virtuous than living according to our most deeply held values?

Martin Luther King Jr. once said “If a man hasn’t discovered something he’s willing to die for, he isn’t fit to live”. That quote has always challenged me and continues to do so. It cuts to the core of true loyalty.

Loyalty can be to a person or group of people, even to an organization. This underscores the importance of considering what we most value in relationships. What’s truly most important to us in our relationships? What types of people do we feel the most loyalty toward? How much do we actively consider this when developing friendships and intimate relationships?

some quotes about loyalty that I believe get to the heart of the matter.

If put to the pinch, an ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness. Elbert Hubbard

Loyalty cannot be blueprinted. It cannot be produced on an assembly line. In fact, it cannot be manufactured at all, for its origin is the human heart-the center of self-respect and human dignity. It is a force which leaps into being only when conditions are exactly right for it-and it is a force very sensitive to betrayal–Maurice R. Franks

The highest spiritual quality, the noblest property of mind a man can have, is this of loyalty … a man with no loyalty in him, with no sense of love or reverence or devotion due to something outside and above his poor daily life, with its pains and pleasures, profits and losses, is as evil a case as man can be–Algernon Charles Swinburne

Loyal companions are an unequaled grace, stanching fear before it bleeds you numb, a reliable antidote for creeping despair–Dean Koontz

Be loyal to those who are not present. In doing so, you build the trust of those who are present–Stephen Covey

We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it–Edward R. Murrow