The topic of conversation in Sunday School class was "loyalty." It was based on a Dick Van Dyke episode: Dick Van Dyke Show: A Man's Teeth Are Not His Own and the question is, "what is loyalty?"
We decided loyalty includes the words spoken in front of someone, as well as the words spoken when they aren't around. Loyalty includes faithfulness in actions also, as anyone who's witnessed a break-up due to an affair can attest to. Loyalty involves choosing a person or principle to stand by, and not backing down.
Sometimes loyalties clash. If your best friend does something wrong and asks you to cover, do you remain loyal to your friend or your beliefs?
Believe it or not, people take note of how loyal you are. Your employer expects loyalty, and will probably not tolerate negative comments or doing non-work activities on the clock. Your friends and co-workers secretly worry when you gossip about a third party if you talk about them behind their back.
Practicing reasonable loyalty (ahem... sports fans) can be a key to building strong relationships and a good reputation.