To understand the temptation of loyalty, there are times when we break from our integrity for reasons other than self-preservation or because of a lack of character. It is not uncommon for us to break our own rules out of good intentions. In most cases, people who lie for the sake of protecting someone they love or respect are good and loyal people.
Among these are the husbands who lied to their wives so as not to hurt them, the girlfriends who have affairs who don’t want the affair exposed, and the leaders who withheld information for the sake of their companies’ reputations. However, corruption is always near when loyalty is chosen over truth.
It becomes more difficult, to tell the truth when we are protecting those we love, work with, or care for with small lies. In telling lies, we develop an “us against them” mentality, pitting ourselves and others against the world, while failing to realize that our lies hurt others. Despite knowing how hurtful lies are, we justify them blindly. Do we have to never lie? Is there anything else we could accomplish? We would willingly sully our souls if we had any other intention.
It is still imperative that we be cautious if we find ourselves in a situation where we must lie to ensure our own or another’s safety or health. Most of the time, we believe that if we tell the truth, we will face total disaster, which is untrue. It is for a reason that all spiritual texts say, in some form or another, that truth shall set us free. Whenever we are faced with the possibility of definite harm if we speak the truth, the best we can do is to keep our heads down and not speak a word.
For those we love, we can speak honestly, but we shouldn’t speak falsehoods to shield them from their irresponsible behavior. No matter how compromised someone else’s character may be, we need not forfeit our own. Let us refrain from any practices or justifications that justify lying if we desire a pure and clean spirit. There are no easy ways to do this, but living a life of disingenuous ease isn’t what we’re after. Truth illuminates the pathway to transcendence.
Some people seek or wield power for evil purposes, but power itself is not evil. A person without integrity and virtue lies, cheats, steals, and steps on others on the way to power. The morally upright use their power to help those in need and advance good ideas. In order to seek power with integrity, we must stop imagining that we will suddenly change when we obtain it.
With greater power, the evil person will only become eviler. Kindness makes a person kinder. Those who are loving become more loving. Generous people are more generous. In seeking more money and influence, let’s be clear about who we are now, knowing that our power will simply magnify this. We can write again: “How will I use my wealth, status, or luck to remain true and proud of who I am when I gain more influence?”. Our ability to acquire abundance and influence depends on us remaining true to our values and the best of who we are every day. That is what real power is all about.
A Character is Formed by Action
We are creating a character that will either stand tall or shrink into the darkness of regret based on our actions. It is essential that we are conscientious creatures so that we can be wise and virtuous. This is especially true when we are faced with the Seven Temptations of impatience, disappointment, desperation, aggression, hurt, loyalty, and power.
Our world is constantly bombarding us with opportunities to be small and catty. Taking our dreams and ourselves for granted would be easy. Poor treatment of others is easy to do. It’s not the path we are on. A strong and true person will triumph despite temptation, resulting in freedom and victory.