Loyalty is the foundation that makes friendships endure. It’s the difference between ordinary friends and true friends.
Dogs are called “man’s best friend” because they can show unparalleled loyalty.
One of the most famous stories of loyalty is that of Hachiko, an Akita dog whose owner was a professor at the University of Tokyo. Each morning they would walk together to Shibuya train station for the professor’s commute, and at the end of the day Hachiko would wait at the station for his return. Until one day the owner did not show up for he had a stroke while giving a lecture. For ten years — rain, shine, or snow — Hachiko would wait at the station every afternoon until his own death in 1935. This happened long ago and still the story is being told, including a movie with Richard Gere in 2009.
Hachiko became famous as a symbol of loyalty in Japan that a bronze statue was erected at Shibuya station in 1934, unveiled with Hachiko present!
Hachiko is still waiting after all these years.
His statue is now a popular landmark in Tokyo and a favorite meeting place among young Japanese friends.
“If you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.”
– Muhammad Ali
Let me hasten to add, if you haven’t learned the meaning of loyalty, you really haven’t learned the meaning of friendship.
“A good friend is like a four-leaf clover; hard to find and lucky to have.”
– Irish proverb
True friends are rare because loyalty is rare. Treasure them, and be one.