Understanding Fidelity

Fidelity: 1) faithfulness to one's duties. 2) accuracy, or exact correspondence to some given quality or fact. 3) loyalty, especially to one's spouse.

Synonyms: loyalty, faithfulness, reliability, trustworthiness, dependability, devotion, commitment, conformity.
Antonym: infidelity.
MSN Encarta

  • Fidelity is allegiance — complete loyalty and devotion.
  • Fidelity is constancy — firmness of mind, unchanging, unwavering.
  • Fidelity is precision — accountable and exact.
  • Fidelity is reliability — honest, dependable in achievement.
  • Fidelity is true-heartedness — filled with honor, sincerity and faithfulness.

Benefits of Fidelity

  • Fidelity provides trustworthiness — adherence to ones vows or promises.
  • Fidelity provides security — unfailing, constant devotion.
  • Fidelity provides consistency — in its unchanging, unwavering allegiance.
  • Fidelity provides character — filled with integrity, honor and loyalty.
  • Fidelity provides obedience — precise, exact and accountable.

Acts of Fidelity in Everyday Life

  • The Bible — The Story of Ruth tells perhaps one of the most beautiful tales of devotion and loyalty of all time. Ruth's reward for her fidelity to her mother-in-law Naomi and the Jewish faith was to have The Messiah, and future of the children of Israel, descend from her, even though she herself was not born Jewish.
  • Semper Fidelis — Latin for Always Faithful, this is the motto of The United States Marine Corp. and a slogan going back to the 14th century.
  • King Afonso Henriques, the first King of Portugal — saved from vassalage by the loyalty of Egaz Moniz de Aragao who offered his life and the lives of those in his family to King Alphonse VII if he would remove his siege of the city and not force the Portuguese King to pay homage to him. King Alphonse was so impressed by the loyalty of Moniz, that he removed the siege and spared them all.
  • The Battle of Yorktown in 1781 — Due to delays in the newly-forming American government, supplies were not provided and many officers of the Continental Army were not paid in a timely fashion. General George Washington emphatically rejected the suggestion that the Army march on the government and force them to meet their demands; thereby preserving the chain of command and demonstrating loyalty to the principles of the democracy which he stood and risked his life for.
  • Positive Parenting — Take credit for your loyalty with your children. It is the best way to instill this same quality in them. Let them know that you will always be there for them, that they can count on you to stand by them in good and hard times. And point out that you have done so at the times that you have so they can recognize it.

Methods for Achieving Fidelity

  • Set an Example — Be the type of person you believe other people want to be like.
  • Live with a Purpose — Determine something you value and aspire to reach the 'finish line'.
  • View Obstacles as Stepping Stones — Develop the 'no matter what' philosophy.
  • Practice Devotion — Even when things are going well, rehearse the things that really matter and drive you.
  • Live with Integrity — Make sure your actions match your words.

Golden Mean

Disloyalty, Faithlessness, Infidelity, Betrayal
Moral blindness

Quotes for Fidelity

It is better to be faithful than famous.
- Theodore Roosevelt -
Constancy is the complement of all other human virtues.
- Giuseppe Mazzini -
Histories are more filled with examples of the fidelity of dogs than of friends.
- Alexander Pope -
True happiness is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.
- Helen Keller -

Recommended Reading

Fidelity: Five Stories — by Wendell Berry

Mr. Berry has written a set of absolutely beautiful stories that truly capture the spirit of devotion and love. A great read and also a great gift for those who want to feel connected to their humanity.

Standing for Something: 10 Neglected Virtues That Will Heal Our Hearts and Homes — by Gordon B. Hinckley

The principles Mr. Hinckley writes about in this book are those that, if practiced and worked on, can not only improve the individual lives of people, but that can benefit society as a whole. This wonderful book calls for a new emphasis on the principles and virtues that can bring about a much better life, period!

General Rules

Practice virtues daily so that they become ‘habits of the heart’.

Don‘t strive for perfection.

Never give up! Remember: even the greats have off days.

Rely on your intuition.

Avoid extremes. Strive to achieve the golden mean between excess and deficiency of a virtue.

Have fun and enjoy the program with humor and optimism.

Those who are faithless know the pleasures of love; it is the faithful who know love’s tragedies. Oscar Wilde