I love loyalty cards and rewards cards!!! I will purposely go out of my way to go to a store, gas station, or a restaurant that mails coupons or offers any specials for loyal customers.
According to Webster, loyalty is defined as “the state or quality of being faithful to commitments or obligations. ” I love that! It sounds like a job or appointed role. If you break it down, its not. The part of that definition that resonates with me is the word ‘quality’. In my opinion, quality will always be equivalent to positivity. However, the qualities you possess and their effects on other people will always be relative to that person. If you’re “strong” and someone else is “weak” than you’ll be transformed into “overbearing.” It may not be a title you feel you deserve but it was appointed by the perception of the recipient. To be faithful is a decision. It requires thought. You must be conscious and disciplined to be faithful whether in regards to lunch or a life partner! If there was a loyalty card you could pass out to reward those who are faithful and committed and gleefully obligated to YOU, who would get one???
Who would give a loyalty card to you?
If they could see into your heart and soul and find the motive for your dedication, would they be pleased or surprised?
In the book “A Woman’s Gotta Do What A Woman’s Gotta Do” by Michelle McKinney Hammond, she says:
Though you may look for a return for all that you have done for others, don’t make the mistake of looking for fruit where you planted seed. Roots travel, my friend, and seldom come up where you expect.
This could take on many meanings and apply to different areas of your life. In the past I would often feel underappreciated. Whether at work or at home I felt like people didn’t understand the effort necessary for the results they saw. They were focused on the result and how it affected them. This is a human flaw, probably one that I am guilty of myself. I dont think its malicious at all. Most people like to be acknowledged but does that mean they are “seeking fruit where they planted a seed?” Is that self serving?
Is reciprocity a form of loyalty? If you wait for a loved one to come out of prison do you have expectations when they come home? In one of my favorite memoirs “The Prisoners Wife”, the author discusses her sacrifice. The incarceration of her husband caused her to reflect on painful memories from her childhood and caused nightmares featuring her husband’s victims. She was alone most of the time. Her dates were letters read by candlelight. She committed to a man whos release was indefinite. Wouldn’t you want fruit to bloom where you planted that seed?
In conclusion, try not to look for a reward from loyalty. Be dedicated to whatever or whomever you think of first thing in the morning and the last thing you think of at night. The return will be extemporaneous and it may be direct or indirect. No matter what it is, it’ll be from the heart.
By Shaun Nickens