Loyalty: The Long Lost Virtue

Loyalty, and the absence of it, has reigned as one of the most trended social themes amongst our generation. Its frequency of surfacing within our conversations is almost instinctive–it is almost completely embedded within our cultural vernacular. Loyalty is popular among conversation, but foreign in action; craved, but distasteful to display; and expected, but naively misunderstood. Because of this, we have been placed in this perpetual cycle of expectation and disappointment. This has produced a social atmosphere where deceit has become more admirable, with musical influences that encourage the behavior, and even humorous, with memes and hashtags titled #WasteHisTime2016 and #WasteHerTime2016 in social media. What we are failing to realize is the potential danger of this mindset and how it trickles down to our livelihoods.

I am undoubtedly positive that the majority of the students on the campus of Tuskegee University are in pursuit of a degree with the intent of obtaining a well-paying job that will act as the base to the beginning stages of their adult life. The highest priority after obtaining a degree is some form of financial security and stability. It is interesting to note that as millennials, we are said to have at least 15-20 jobs in the course of our lifetime. What’s more interesting is that the average job span for a millennial is about 4.4 years. This is where the question of loyalty comes to play and the blame is distributed in multiple directions.

The general consensus for millennial’s constant job hopping is due to their brewing desire to pursue their passion and ascend to new heights; however, I believe it is a result of a lack of patience and endurance, as well as lust for instant gratification. Although our social influences and the pace of our environment have helped to create this disparity, it is inexcusable for them to become the basis and defining elements of our behavior patterns. Patience is a virtue, but is meaningless amongst a virtually virtue-less people. In the same way, loyalty—a product of patience—is meaningless to a generation who encourages the satisfaction of personal desires above all else. So, we must aim to redefine loyalty through patience in order to bring an end to these impending perpetual cycles of dishonesty in our pursuits of careers, relationships, and individual satisfaction if we ever intend to truly find the loyalty we seek.