The Principles of Kingship: Lesson 3, Fidelity

fi·del·i·ty
fəˈdelədē/
noun

  1. faithfulness to a person, cause, or belief, demonstrated by continuing loyalty and support.

Fidelity is something that is quite often overlooked in our society. If you want proof of this, look no further than our trusty Google search engine. When doing research on courage and self-discipline I was swamped by an overabundance of blogs, research articles, and self-help “how to” guides. There is of course, nothing wrong with this, I would never actively or willingly attempt to dismantle anyone’s attempt to self-improve, no matter how naive the attempt may be. 

However, fidelity carries a significant weight to it that the other virtues do not, and because of this (mixed with the fact that it isn’t a buzzword self-improvement term) it isn’t discussed nearly as much as it should be in any realm, other than in marriage. To be quite frank, other than the basic definition I will be doing a lot of “Shooting from the hip” here due to the lack of examples and stories based on it as a virtue.

Fidelity, while interchangeable with the word faithfulness, tends to carry a bit more weight in terms of meaning. As a matter of fact, usually it’s only used in high handed speeches and awards ceremonies, which is a darn shame to be honest, because it’s quickly becoming a lost virtue in our society. It also has a bit of a martial quality to it, due to its use by the military and other militaristic organizations throughout history.

Fidelity, by my way of thinking goes way beyond simple dedication. It’s a stronger and much more of emotional, and spiritual pull. I can be dedicated to starting a business, (which ironically enough I am doing, and I am dedicated to.) however, gun to my head if someone told me to drop it or else. I’m probably going to look for healthier means of employment or selling. I have Fidelity to my family. It is the strongest cord for me currently I would literally die for the family name and besmirching it would wound me in a way losing a business could never do. At the end of the day, fidelity could be described as something you’re willing to live and die for. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is live for a cause. I’ll use my family as another example. Currently, I have a very medieval view on family dynamics, the entity of the family and the name are more important than the people in it. Simply, the sum is more than the equal of its parts. The emotional helping hand, and the financial stability are paramount to me. Because of this I am willing to forgo vacations, paying off bills early, and even my own personal safety and security. That is Fidelity.

Due to the weightiness of this attribute it should not be given lightly. Words carry meaning and swearing fealty to something or someone is not an endeavor to be taken lightly. Think long and hard before you decide to put your very existence on the line for something. I can imagine no worse feeling in the world than dedicating yourself wholly to a person, people, or cause just to learn later that all the sacrifices weren’t worth it.

Unlike the other attributes I have written on, fidelity is something that you DO versus a characteristic like honor which is something you ARE. A person can be honorable, brave, and courageous without necessarily having a “grander cause” to fight for. So I say again ladies and gentlemen. Be very, very, careful about who or what you chain yourself to.

It is in my experiences that a cause worthy of sacrifice isn’t something you look for. Eventually it sneaks up on you and you end up trying to figure out why you feel a certain kind of way about the person or entity. When this happens it is in your best interest to take some alone time, sit down and really analyze the situation you’re in. Decide whether this cause is something that deserves your 100% If you have decided that it does, swear your loyalty. It doesn’t have to be words, or a grand gesture. The decision is an internal one, this helps with the added benefit of keeping you grounded. You are very clear about your intentions because you have unilaterally decided. Believe me, this beats just surprising yourself with your depth of feeling.

In conclusion, Fidelity, while an extremely noble quality is not without its potential downsides. I would recommend you think deeply on the consequences of your actions both past and future. Good luck in your continuing journey, and all my best. Till next time,

~ The Jackrabbit

The Jackrabbit has also just started a podcast for men’s self-development and betterment. If you’re interested check it out at 248network.com the podcast is Clog the Cog Radio