I recently attended a retirement party for a friend of mine. I’ve known him for what seems like forever. He’s one of the most upstanding, honest, God-fearing, smartest people I’ve ever met. It was a pleasure to join him and his family for the festivities. And as retirement parties go, plenty of people want to say a “few words” about the guest of honor and how good he is. Well chiiiile lemme tell you there were tons of people who had something great to say about this man. It went on and on and on and on and on and…you feel me? Then the guest of honor had his say and he went on and on as well. It was quite a night.
But the one remarkable thing I noticed in everyone’s speech including the guest of honor was this sense of loyalty. From what I could tell, one of the main reasons why he is loved by so many people is because he shows up for people good or bad. When his co-workers needed him for personal matters he showed up for them. No questions asked. When his family needed him to be there for them he showed up for them. I listened to recollections of times when he defended siblings, gave away money and food, volunteered when no one else would, endured long phone conversations, and defied authority to do right by his friends. He showed up for them. And in turn they showed up for him when his mother passed away, when he went through divorce, when he was promoted at work, when he turned 50, etc.
During my long drive home I started thinking about loyalty. If you follow my blog you know that I admit that I am a very distrustful person. One of the causes for my feelings is lack of loyalty. There have been some very significant people in my life who didn’t show up for me when I needed help or wanted to celebrate a victory. They didn’t show up for me and unfortunately I can’t forget that (although I certainly forgive it). That kind of disappointment really effs me up sometimes and I wish it didn’t. Loyalty is one of the most basic qualities a good friend, family member and/or lover should have. It shows love.
Loyalty is difficult sometimes. First of all it’s not always easy to earn someone’s loyalty (it’s pretty tough to earn mine). Second, loyalty is tough to maintain. Showing up for someone can mean putting their needs above your own once in a while. It means venturing out of your comfort zone and into unfamiliar or even…ahem…awkward spots for them. It may even mean giving up your last coins that you had plans for or taking a detour you didn’t intend to take. But it’s all good. It’s all love. I believe that the sacrifice is worth it for a true friend and will return to you like a boomerang.
The main idea of today’s rambling, good people, is show up for your people especially the humble ones who don’t ask for much. Show up and give them some love. You may not think it matters but it most definitely does.