Of the seven virtues of Bushido, Loyalty may be the hardest to contemplate. Blind loyalty can be foolish, yet anything less than complete loyalty is not loyalty at all. Hmm.
There have been countless anecdotes of blind loyalty with the most infamous being the; “I was just following orders,” excuse for absolutely abominable actions on behalf of one’s superiors. A true warrior should know when an order must be questioned, and be willing to accept the consequences.
This does not remove one from the obligation of loyalty. If you have sworn an oath of loyalty it doesn’t mean that you follow that only until it’s inconvenient.
What are the hierarchies of loyalty? Family, country, friends, team, work, or other. Sometimes the demands of one may impede, and/or supersede the other. At this point decisions must be weighed and prioritized. These priorities may only be organized by the individual, but, in my mind they should not fluctuate.
Your hierarchy may change due to the course of your life; such as when you are a child your loyalty is to your Mom and Dad. As an adult to your wife or husband and as a parent, to your children.
The part of loyalty that is not confusing should be that the people to whom you owe loyalty should have no doubts about it. How many people in your life do you believe that you can completely count on? Those people are probably very important to you! So; now we know how to be important to other people. Show your loyalty in everything you do and you are on the way to the path of the Samurai. Every day will give you multiple opportunities. Don’t miss them.
Here at River of Life dojo we encourage the seven virtues of bushido and put it into every session. If you would like to train in such an atmosphere. Please come and join us. You can try out a few lessons for free, anytime and we would look forward to having you here.