Once upon a time…
Arthur and his dog were walking along a winding road. While enjoying the scenery, clear blue skies, and a light breeze, it suddenly occurred to Arthur that he was dead. He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years. “Wow,” thought Arthur, “I wonder where this road leads to?”
After a while, they came to a huge, white stone wall on one side of the road. Arrows of light darted off its surface causing all the nearby gravel on the road to glisten and sparkle. Arthur squinted his eyes and reached out his hand to touch fine white marble. Fascinated, he patted his dog on the head and, said: “Come on boy!”
They quickened their pace and rounded a corner. The road ascended a lofty hill, broken by a tall luminous arch glimmering in the sunlight. As they made their approach, Arthur saw a magnificent gate inside the arch that flickered blinding flashes of mother of pearl. Squinting his eyes further, Arthur could see the road from the gate – it looked like pure gold!
Peering through the gate, Arthur could make out a well-dressed man sitting at a desk to one side. “Excuse me,” he enquired. “Where exactly are we?”
“This is Heaven, Sir” the man answered.
‘Wow! Would you happen to have some water?” Arthur asked.
“But of course, sir. Come right in and I’ll have some ice water brought up immediately.” The man gave a quick golf clap, and the gate began to open.
“Can my friend come in too?” asked Arthur as he bent down to ruffle the dog’s ears.
“I’m sorry, sir, we do not accept pets.” cautioned the man.
Arthur thought for a moment, smiled, and thanked the man before turning back toward the road. The two travellers continued along their way.
After some time, in the valley of a broad canyon, Arthur and his furry mate came upon a dirt track that led through an old rusty farm gate. There was no fence and, as he approached the gate, Arthur saw a man leaning against a tree, reading a book.
“Excuse me” he called to the reader. “Do you have any water?”
“Yeah, sure, there’s a pump over there.” The man pointed to a place that couldn’t be seen from outside the gate. “Come on in.”
“How about my friend here?” Arthur gestured to the dog.
“Yep, there should be a bowl by the pump” replied the man.
They went through the gate and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it. Arthur filled the bowl, gave it to the dog, and took a long thirst-quenching drink himself. When they were both satisfied, and the dog’s tail was wagging cheerfully, they walked back toward the man who was still leaning on the tree.
“So, what do you call this place?” Arthur asked.
“This place is Heaven,” answered the man.
“Well, that’s confusing,” said Arthur. “The guy down the road said that was Heaven, too.”
“Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope, that’s Hell,” smiled the man.
“Doesn’t it make you angry that they use your name like that?” Arthur concerned.
The man chuckled, “I can see why you might think that but we are just happy that they screen out the folks who’ll leave their best friends behind.”
“There is something wrong with your character if opportunity controls your loyalty”
― Trent Shelton
Moral of the Story:
Everyone wants loyalty, consistency, and somebody who won’t quit on them. To get that person, you have to be that person. Loyalty is a powerful thing. When we see life as a story, we want the characters near and dear to us to be ones we can trust. Frodo had Samwise. Kirk had Spock. Snoopy had Woodstock and Bond had Moneypenny. Not sidekicks, but loyal, trusted souls. When one person knows, despite mistakes and missteps, that the other is truly loyal, they can remain friends (once healed) forever. Loyalty is not blindness. It isn’t about being on the most powerful or winning side. It’s about giving.
True loyalty is a tacit agreement of respect. It’s about being open to the possibilities of true connection, as opposed to the fake loyalties that evaporate when times get tough. Loyalty stands for commitment and dedication to another allowing respect and trust to flourish. Dogs are a 3D representation of what it means to be loyal. No matter what you look like, whether you are rich or poor, depressed or euphoric, purple or green with orange polka dots, your dog has your back and is utterly devoted to you. No matter what kind of day you are having or what kind of mood you are in, your dog will SHOW UP every time. Your dog will never reject your affection. You are your dog’s favourite person. Be the person your dog thinks you are.
“It’s not how many friends you can count, it’s how many of those you can count on.”
― Anthony Liccione
Affirmation: I reward loyalty with loyalty and disloyalty with distance.
I stand up for myself, the people I love, and the ideas I believe in. My loyalty to others speaks volumes about my loyalty to myself. I choose my friends wisely. Even through bad times, my loyalty does not change. I look out for people who look out for me. I know that loyalty is a continuous phenomenon; we don’t score points for past actions. I appreciate the good people in my life when it counts, not only when it’s convenient. I know that love and loyalty work hand-in-hand. With loyalty, I gain access to places where others have been denied entry. I choose to surround myself with solid, quality people who value principles, integrity, and loyalty. I stand in my power and will not yield to a false crown. When I am loyal to the present moment my life makes perfect sense. I hold loyalty above everything. Love is an emotion. Loyalty is a choice.
“If you don’t find the right set of eyes to see through your own bullshit, you will always be surrounded by friends that will tell you white lies because they like your company and don’t want to ruin the evening.”