One should be Loyal to Relationships
(Vinod Anand)

Dear XYZ, if I remember correctly, the last time you met me was at... when was it? Was it at a wedding or a birthday celebration? Perhaps it was at someone’s prayer meeting. How much time did we spend together and what did we say to each other?

Did we have a worthwhile conversation or were we merely acknowledging each other’s presence? Now, would .you call that a meeting? Too often, if not all the time, we limit our relationships and bonding to physical presence in life’s so-called milestones: births, deaths, anniversaries and parties (yes, that too!).

We assign value to our relationship a loyalty quotient, no less — only by watching whether a person showed up, attended or participated in my or your personal events, But think: Are these ‘f events for real?

In reality, these are mostly insignificant; mere commotion. They are non-events, possibly. All that one does is simply show up and live in the illusion that your irrelevant presence is taken note of in a motley group of relatives and friends are a ‘real’ community. Surely, relationships, bonding and loyalty cannot be measured in this superficial manner?

Milestones in one’s life are not created by non-events. Births and deaths, for instance, are routine occurrences that every individual is likely to encounter in a lifetime. All that happens in these situations is that a guest at such a non-event further burdens the host to attend forthcoming “non-events” in his life.

Hence, without a second thought; we get sucked into the vicious cycle perpetrated by society: inviting and attending each other’s non-events. We waste precious time creating footfalls in life’s nonevents, mistaking them for loyal relationships. What is a milestone then?

When does a person experience a milestone moment? The only time is when he encounters himself; when something stirs inside—in his mind, in his head, in his heart— when there is no need to wear role-play masks; when he is influenced or influences like- minded people.

A milestone is achieved when he connects and bonds; when he engages at a deeper, higher level with those around him: not in old boys’ clubs but as individual-to-individual.

When you and I can create or allow the creation of a space around us devoid of society’s noise, interruptions and blizzard of non-events, when we are ready to share, listen carefully and receive the other’s words gracefully, that’s when we strike a milestone. In deeply connecting with another, an individual connects with himself as well.

Ask yourself when do you experience energized moments? Whether with a relative or an employee, what are the moments that impress your mind? When in stress or distress, why do you seek certain persons to speak with and not gather a group around you?

It is from creating such milestones that loyalty is born: loyalty to a relationship that is above and beyond the one de fined by society. Loyalty that brings out the best thoughts, that makes people stick together.

Not personal loyalty born out of rituals and roles, but loyalty in harmony with a deeper higher and genuine strain of thought. Loyalty that’s unspoken, quiet and ever-present. A relationship you can bank upon, whether in family or at work.

It is loyalty that sticks beyond roles, rituals and above all, expectations. If we were to meet, then let it be on a platform such as this, let us not allow ritualized expectations blind us to what we can share. Let us meet when it counts. Let it count when we meet... Regards, ABC

Author's Bio: 


Born in 1939, and holding Master’s Degree both in Mathematics (1959) and Economics (1961), and Doctorate Degree in Economics (1970), Dr. Vinod K.Anand has about forty five years of teaching, research, and project work experience in Economic Theory (both micro and macro), Quantitative Economics, Public Economics, New Political Economy, and Development Economics with a special focus on economic and social provisions revolving around poverty, inequality, and unemployment issues, and also on informal sector studies. His last assignment was at the National University of Lesotho (Southern Africa) from 2006 to 2008. Prior to that he was placed as Professor and Head of the Department of Economics at the University of North-West in the Republic of South Africa, and University of Allahabad in India, Professor at the National University of Lesotho, Associate Professor at the University of Botswana, Gaborone in Botswana, and at Gezira University in Wad Medani, Sudan, Head, Department of Arts and Social Sciences, Yola in Nigeria, Principal Lecturer in Economics at Maiduguri University in Nigeria, and as Lecturer at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in Nigeria. Professor Anand has by now published more than 80 research papers in standard academic journals, authored 11 books, supervised a number of doctoral theses, was examiner for more than twenty Ph.D. theses, and has wide consultancy experience both in India and abroad, essentially in the African continent. This includes holding the position of Primary Researcher, Principal Consultant etc. in a number of Research Projects sponsored and funded by Universities, Governments, and International Bodies like, USAID, IDRC, and AERC. His publications include a variety of themes revolving around Economic Theory, New Political Economy, Quantitative Economics, Development Economics, and Informal Sector Studies. His consultancy assignments in India, Nigeria, Sudan, Botswana, and the Republic of South Africa include Non-Directory Enterprises in Allahabad, India, Small Scale Enterprises in the Northern States of Nigeria, The Absolute Poverty Line in Sudan, The Small Scale Enterprises in Wad Medani, Sudan, Micro and Small Scale Enterprises in Botswana, The Place of Non-Formal Micro-Enterprises in Botswana, Resettlement of a Squatter Community in the Vryburg District of North West Province in the Republic of South Africa, Trade and Investment Development Programme for Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises: Support for NTSIKA in the Republic of South Africa, and Development of the Manufacturing Sector in the Republic of South Africa’s North West Province: An Approach Based on Firm Level Surveys. Professor Anand has also extensively participated in a number of conferences, offered many seminars, participated in a number of workshops, and delivered a variety of Refresher Lectures at different venues both in India and abroad. Dr. Anand was placed at the prestigious Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS), Shimla in the State Himachal Pradesh, India as a Fellow from 2001 to 2003, and had completed a theoretical and qualitative research project/monograph on the Employment Profile of Micro Enterprises in the State of Himachal Pradseh, India.