I mainly live by three rules; loyalty, trustworthiness, and honesty. In pretty much that order, because I really believe they need to be ranked.

They were loyal

Loyalty is absolute, though a bit convoluted. If I'm loyal to you, I expect loyalty back. It doesn't matter if we're talking business or personal life. I have friends who have been my friend for over 30 years, even if we only talk every couple of years or so. I would be there if they needed me, and they'd be here if I needed them; that's what loyalty is all about.

With that said, loyalty is a two-way street. If you're in need, I'll be there; just don't put me in an illegal situation. If you're hiding from the police, don't come to me unless you want me to help turn yourself in. Don't ask me to hide something in my garage without telling me what it is. Don't put me in a situation where I could get hurt, killed, or thrown in jail just because I know you. I'd never do that to you, and if you know me well you know how true that is.

Trustworthiness is the next in line. I don't trust anyone until they've shown me trust. However, I always try to trust first, then wait to see if it's been justified. I do tend to go by my internal Spidey senses though, which means if I'm reading a situation and my body is sending me signals, I listen to them. I trust my feelings because I've known them a very long time.

By trustworthy, I mean if I tell you something in secrecy, it stays secret. If I'm in a position to loan you some money or give you something you need in the moment, you keep it to yourself. If I tell you I did something wrong, you can discuss it with me, but you have to stay silent about it. I'd do the same for you, even if you never asked. Your secrets are with me; my secrets should stay with you.

Honesty is my final major conviction, but I know it's not as absolute as the first two. I won't be brutally honest with anyone who doesn't deserve that; honesty doesn't have to be mean and nasty. I will withhold information if I don't feel it will benefit anyone. I won't lie to anyone, though, and I won't break a promise.

But honesty is sometimes a subset of the first two. For instance, if you tell me you're going to commit suicide, I'm going to do what I can to keep you alive; the same goes for you telling me you're going to kill someone, or did kill someone. My loyalty and trustworthy rules supersede honesty. I'm going to do what's right and correct, just as I'd hope you'd do the same.

I rarely make promises, therefore I don't have to break any. I also won't openly lie; who can remember all those lies anyway? But I'll stay silent if I need to; in business, sometimes you have to stay silent, such as if you're in management and you know layoffs are coming, and the directive from above is not to tell anyone anything.

Of course, I have more convictions than that, sometimes related to business issues. I have a conviction of my right to privacy; not absolute privacy, as I divulge a lot of information about myself on my blogs here and there. My right to privacy concerns companies that want me to take drug tests and allow them to review a credit report. Nope, that's just not happening with me unless I take a permanent job, since I know those are requirements.

Once again, this isn't as absolute as my first two. For instance, if I'm going to be handling money for someone, I can see their wanting to look at a credit report; that makes absolute sense.If I was going to be working directly with patients in a medical capacity, I could see taking a drug test. Again, that makes absolute sense.

As an independent business, that makes no sense at all. As a subcontractor, that makes no sense. As someone with a business license, incorporated no less, that makes no sense.

When it comes to business, the truth is that, unless you're a one person operation, there isn't a single company that has any loyalty to anyone. A company will lay you off at a moment's notice if they're in financial trouble. They will keep employees in a position until Friday afternoon then let them go at the end of the day, when they knew on Monday they weren't retaining you. They'll sign you up for insurance, only to change the terms of that insurance within six months. They'll bring you into the company on the promise of training and an increase in salary in 3 or 4 months, then act like they have no idea where you got that from when the time comes. Yet, they wonder why employees don't trust them, and what keeps unions in the picture; please!

Where there's no loyalty, there can't be any trustworthiness, and thus honesty goes out the window as well. You see why I say that my number one conviction is loyalty? How strong are your convictions? What won't you do; what will you do and for what reason?

If you've ever thought about it, share if you'd like.