fi·del·i·ty /fəˈdelitē/ (noun)
1. Faithfulness to a person, cause, or belief, demonstrated by continuing loyalty and support.
Having faith in people, organizations, and even “the cause” is difficult. It will surely lead to eventual disappointment.
There will come a time when you put your faith in a person, or group of people and they will sell that loyalty out to the highest bidder when you are not looking. It is only natural in a world where the almighty dollar rules the day, and people are willing to give up their morals and ethics for a few lousy bucks, or a shot at position and power. It happens all of the time.
So why does it hurt so bad when it does?
Our fidelity is an investment into people and/or beliefs. It is a risk, like any other investment. When we choose to support an individual, a brand, a company, a religion, or whatever we are putting ourselves on the line for that thing. We are saying, “I believe in this person, or this organization and you should too.” So when it becomes obvious that things are not what they seem, and the thing you have been faithful to is now something completely different, what is a person to do? Can fidelity be bought and sold too?
If I am loyal to a person or company, but that person or company sells out to a different person or company, am I automatically loyal to the new person or company? Does my support automatically transfer? Has this new entity purchased the support and the good will that made us loyal in the first place? Or does this moment break that fidelity, and open the door for once supportive folks to look elsewhere for a new person, cause, or belief that is not hampered by the burden of this new deal?
Are we obligated in any way to remain faithful to something that is no longer really itself? I think not.
The truth is that nothing lasts forever. Fidelity is an affection and a responsibility that we give to things. We can just as easily take it back. While it is not the obligation of any person or organization to consider the fidelity of its supporters, clients, or friends, it is a valuable asset that is worth considering when making drastic changes. Often people are willing to stick with a person or organization because of who they are, even when times are rough and things are not going well. When that faith is transferred to an unknown entity or new face, a lot of that willingness to stick with someone goes away. It is just not the same. It is a huge risk.
So before you go considering hitching your wagon to another star and hoping for a miracle, just remember that miracles are rare. Once the honeymoon is over there are some very real reactions to consider. There is a lot of work to do to maintain an identity and reputation, while also appeasing the new blood that wants to be out front, leading the charge. The reward surely better be worth the risk.
There is no shortage of hucksters out there hoping to buy into a good thing. There are people and organizations desperate to gain a foothold and who will offer the moon in hopes of gaining acceptance. Before you decide to sell your identity and standing in the community for 30 pieces of silver, just ask yourself, “Is this what I worked so hard for?”
Did we all put in the years of blood, sweat, and tears to give up who we are and what we stand for for short term rewards? Have we been beat up by the volatility of the “industry” and hammered by the uncertainty of “the movement” that we are just too exhausted to see it through? Are we going to give up ourselves, and our life’s work to the cat with the biggest checkbook? Some certainly will; and some of those will be folks you have put your faith in.
Your decision is whether YOUR FIDELITY is for sale in the deal. Does your loyalty automatically get transferred, or is it time to reconsider the facts and look to other resources that have been ignored due to your blind faith? There will be a lot of buying, selling, and trading of people. organizations, and ideas in the coming years. People will change. Some for the better. Some for the worse. There is nothing we can do about that.
But we do still control where we invest our fidelity and love. Do not be blinded by your loyalties. Understand that what once was may no longer be, and that it may be time to move on. This is how we grow. And while it is disappointing to realize that something we had put so much into is no longer what it once was, it is a lesson in growing up. The failure to recognize and act upon this lesson is where we can set ourselves up for ultimate failure.
Do your homework, and do not let your fidelity be bought and sold like a commodity….
Pray to God, but row away from the rocks.” ― Hunter S. Thompson