Loyalty and Gratitude
By Apolinario Villalobos
Loyalty is about faithfulness and devotion when it comes to our relationship with God or love ones. It is about allegiance and trustworthiness when it comes to our relationship with our country. It is about reliability and dependability when it comes to our job. It is about steadfastness when it comes to our principle. But for a deeper and emotional connotation, it is about love.
Loyalty is grounded on gratitude. When one is born into this world, gratitude to his parents is already ingrained in his consciousness. As he grows, he becomes grateful to his elder siblings for providing him company at home as playmates and the same feeling is developed towards his friends outside their home – solace given during that critical development stage of his life as a child . Then, he becomes loyal to his teachers for giving him guidance in learning his ABC’s until he is able to finish a course. On finding a job, he becomes loyal to his employer. Much later, he becomes loyal to his spouse because of the gratitude for being a partner in building a home for the family that they start to raise.
It is a cycle. But, there is one segment of the cycle that most people fail to give extra attention – the one about the stage where one finds a particular job that he considers “it”, a job that will prop him up financially until he retires. That particular segment of the cycle is supposed to be the start of his life as head of family under the roof of his own home. For people who had richer lessons in life, finding a job and sticking to it is a serious matter. By richer lessons, I mean, lessons learned from insufficiencies while growing up, because they make one learn how to respect hard-earned money, respect time which when wasted cannot be recovered, and make use to the fullest every opportunity found along the way.
The people referred above, cannot help but consider the job that they find best for them as their “life”. By simple reckoning, we may say that we spent at least twenty years with our parents in a stage that included our mental development by going to school and finally finishing a course. But after being weaned from their care, that is, after finding a job and having a family of our own, we practically spend the precious time between our own home and our job.
Our job gives us the needed assurance that we will be able to raise our family, although, nowadays, some jobs are not gratifying enough as regards take home pay. At this point, loyalty is not well developed towards the job, and employees referred here even bad mouth their employer, which is not the proper thing to do. The best decision is for those not satisfied to resign and look for another job.
Some people, albeit not satisfied with their job, hold on to it, for fear that if they resign they might not be able to find a better one. Unconsciously, they harbor ill feeling toward their employer until retirement. The hate surfaces when these retirees find it difficult to even whisper a single thank to their former employer. And to think, that they are supposed to have built their career in the turf of such employer…that without the employer that they hate, they may not have been able to buy a home, although, on long installment….that without the employer, they may not have been able to send their children to school…that without the employer, they may not have been able to go through a much needed operation, etc.
One comment of an officemate who retired way ahead of me is about forgetting the company after giving the office one last look and taking hurried steps away from it. I told her that I cannot do that because without the job that I learned to love, I would not have discovered my skills developed in seminars which the company made me attend… I would not have met people whose names I only read in dailies and magazines…. I would not have gone to places, pictures of which I saw only in magazines as a student. And, most importantly, how can I forget the company that gave me a salary that I wisely spent to be able to survive comfortably?
On a more serious tone, if we have the gull to refuse in looking back to where we came from due to ungratefulness and hate, how much more in supposedly looking up to the One with heartfelt gratitude for His unconditional act of love for us, even to the extent of offering His life for our salvation?