Loyalty Tests

I worked with a Scotsman in Rome the other day. He had been employed in one of Italy’s largest corporations for 18 years, and had finally said “enough.” He said that production is constantly disrupted in Italian businesses, especially the bigger ones, due to warring factions within the company.

“Most of your day,” he explained, “is dedicated to showing which faction you’re loyal to.” If all day long you have to prove which team you’re on, then obviously your team is not working for the greater good.

We often see the same thing in families and politics… not to mention within ourselves. Which part of ourselves are we being loyal to today, the honest part, or the dishonest part?

Until we resolve this internal dilemma, we will constantly be asked to prove our loyalty, either to Mom or Dad, to the left wing or right wing, to the ego or to our Higher Self. Should we cheat a little here, lie a little there… or be honest (and perhaps lose)?

We are constantly being tested. In the movie The Family Man, an angel working at a 7-11 gives change for a ten to a girl who had given him a one. He counts out nine bucks, and the girl takes it. “You see that?” he says to the next customer. “Character! And for nine bucks. That’s just so disappointing!”

Like those internally-at-war companies, without resolving this basic dilemma of character, we are going back and forth, up and down, kicking up a lot of dust… but losing ground the whole time.

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