“Be sure to put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.” -Abraham Lincoln
Is loyalty unconditional? Attributions like “ride or die” connote utmost commitment, in the face of intense ridicule and bitter defeat. This may be a great attitude when it comes to your favorite frustrating sports franchise ( thank you for the stress, Dallas), but Lincoln’s statement provides clear direction when it relates to the people and systems we interact with. Let’s dissect it.
Part A denotes that there is a level of certainty we can claim, driven by the conviction of our internal compass and empirical evidence of its reliability. When we walk our city streets, we don’t test the ground before making each step but we might if we were traversing a frozen lake on foot. Likewise, when we curate our associations, we don’t embody trepidation.
Part B then issues a powerful command after the condition in A is met: “then stand firm”. An obligation, though subject to our volition, has officially been imposed. It’s saying in a very practical sense, when it it’s right, do it. Not when it feels right or seems that way but in the most absolute affirmative that we can attain. This goes beyond ‘cogito ergo sum’. It is now: “I know, therefore I must”.
What you support and believe in invariably dictates what you pursue and proliferate. There is a deep seated connection between thoughts and action, a legitimized interdependency. The systems continually feed into each other. The paradigm both influences and is shifted by the process. Where are you casting your vote? What has your confidence? What do you willfully encourage by virtue of association? Beware of loyalty for loyalty’s sake.