“The Problem With Loyalty” Kingston’s Journey #89

Loyalty is a Virtue

Across cultures, countries and continents, loyalty is seen as a key virtue in normal human interactions. Which is all well and good as loyalty breeds trust and trust is needed for cooperation, to build the many aspects that make up civilization.

It’s been said that no man is an island, which is true as most societal structures lend us to be interdependent on one another. Which has been a good thing as it has led to more prosperity then any one individual can attain by themselves as the division of labor we see in most communities allows individuals to specialize in the one part they are responsible for and get really good at it. This is comparable to how Henry Ford’s Model T assembly line had workers focus on just one part of the car making process and get very good at it which was a key factor in keeping costs low.

When Times Change, Is Loyalty Still A Virtue?

Again this type of interdependency requires loyalty within the organization to keep operations smooth.

But what happens when that machine becomes rusted and inefficient? If all the parts continued chugging along, business as usual, things would proceed, but in a less efficient manner until it breaks down all together.

Because there is a hidden danger to loyalty, loyalty is there to maintain the status quo when all things are well and good in these interlinked chains that bind us together. Even if these links deteriorate, (to a certain extent) they can be repaved or if it would better serve parties involved to break the ties and move on to something else (which deserves its own post), that is when loyalty rears its ugly head.

Because the fact of the matter is that loyalty in of itself breeds laziness.

When you become loyal in a relationship, whether with friends, in career, business, romantic partners, you become comfortable staying within those boundaries that have been drawn, which is all aces when all people are getting the intended value (and perhaps even more out of the relationship.

But times change, new information becomes available and with that perhaps that previous relationship is no longer viable. Because ultimately loyalty is a social construct, which is important. But ultimately being able to take care of one’s needs first is a more primal necessity.

So recognizing that building new relationships or at least having those seeds available throw meeting new people necessary, less loyalty blind you to changing times.

Kingston S. Lim

February 10, 2021

Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania


About Kingston’s Journey Series: Kingston’s Journey is a lifelong series. This is the travel journal I take with me. Whether you have questions such as how to change my life or how to travel the world, I think you’ll find value in the life lessons I’ve experienced and documented in this travel notebook. They may serve as travel inspiration for you. In Chinese, there is a saying, “讀萬卷書,不如行千里路.”

This means, instead of reading ten thousand books, why don’t you walk a thousand miles. This is my inspiration to travel every nation (or as many as possible) in my pursuit of my global MBA by learning as much as possible and recording these life lessons learned only by travel. In the end, I think the achievement of dreams, personal growth & aspirations out there through travel and adventure will lead to a more fulfilling life. Living and experiencing the “now” is how I’ll make my life a great memory in the future.

2 thoughts on ““The Problem With Loyalty” Kingston’s Journey #89

  1. True, loyalty is an important virtue. I wasn’t expecting the twist you’ve put into the description in relation to changing times. This is very sound advice one that I needed. I agree with you on being blinded by loyalty to a point of stunting your own growth. I realised I had this challenge after a self assessment a few months back and reading this gives the situation the more clarity. Thanks for sharing and I admire your journey to a global MBA

    Liked by 1 person

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