No words. The Pictures say it all. Looking out our door tonite.
Loyalty is probably the most misunderstood concept in the world. I have watched people claim loyalty to political parties, religions, religious leaders, companies, family members…you name it. The problem comes when people place such a frame on being loyal that they continue to be loyal even when the person or thing they are loyal to has taken a turn for the worse. Loyalty can turn into misguided loyalty and become like a drug that consumes us.
I have watched parents take loyal to the extreme and they will defend their children no matter what they do and make excuses for them. I am very proud of my sons and they know it but they also knew that if they broke the law or did something wrong that got them in trouble, that I would not lie to get them out of it. I would be there with them to walk through it but they would have to face up to what they did wrong. The Anthony case comes to mind when I talk about this as we watched all the drama and change of stories while their daughter was on trial for murdering her child. It scares me when I see this happen for what are we teaching the child? We are teaching them that no matter what they do, they can lie their way out of it and we will be there to do the same for them.
I have seen people take the extreme when it came to politicians, defending them even when they did something wrong. This is not loyalty. Loyalty is standing by them in spite of their wrongs. I have seen people make excuses for things done and fight anyone that dared to say anything negative about the person they were showing their brand of loyalty to.
I think I must really be different for to me, loyalty is standing by a person…even when they err in judgment. If I make up excuses to cover their wrongs and try to keep anyone from saying anything negative, all I do is draw more attention to the error in judgment of that person. I call this blind loyalty and it borders on how those in cults are. For example, those who followed Jim Jones defended him to the death. They gave up all their possessions, their money and followed him to another country all because they believed totally what he was saying. Even when they felt uncomfortable with what he was doing, they could not bring themselves to admit it and they died because of it.
The code of silence with law enforcement, doctors, etc is a good example of misguided loyalty. There used to be this wall and you could not get a person to speak out if someone was doing something wrong. It was a loyalty that was blinded to justice for much corruption happened and yet no one could do anything about it for no one would say one negative word about the one that was corrupt. Thankfully, this is not as strong as is was some years back and the rogue cops or bad doctors, etc are now being exposed.
A political example is Clinton and the now famous affair. I listened to people make excuses about the affair because they just could not admit that what he did was improper. I heard things ranging from “well he is the president” to “it was not real sex” to “sex is personal” (uh not in the oval office). The truth of the matter is, if he had been the boss of a corporation and had an affair with an employee under him, he would have been fired. He made an error in judgment. Does that negate the good he did as president? Not in my book. I can see the good and the bad and do not have to pretend he was perfect to say anything good about him. But, many people have this misguided loyalty idea that if they dare say anything negative about the person they are loyal to then they are disloyal. Being loyal is standing by them even though we recognize their faults not because we perceive them as perfect. I am not a “party” person but I do look at each candidate personally and I see good things Clinton did and I see things he made mistakes on and I see that in all presidents.
Companies now have loyalty marketing planning sessions on how to better effectively get the money from those that are loyal fans as they term it. If you don’t believe me, look up loyalty marketing. Companies realize that people will take loyalty to the extreme and so they are using this as a marketing tool. A good example would be the fast food companies who use the game tokens to get you to buy more food. Or the cigarette companies that used to have the tokens on the packages that you could use to redeem for items from a catalog. Loyalty marketing programs have existed since the fifties. And it works. They give a little and get back much more than they give and people think that they are really getting a prize when in reality all we are doing is buying more cigarettes or food items to get the tokens we need to get a free this or that.
So how do we know if our loyalty is misguided? I think first we have to be able to admit that the person or product or company or whatever is subject to error. If we take something or someone and try to turn them into something perfect, then we need to step back and look again for nothing in this world is perfect. If we find it beyond hard to admit that whatever or whomever we are following, does anything wrong then we need to step back and look at what we are doing. If we just follow blindly and never ask questions or look for information, then we need to step back and ask ourselves why we don’t. If there is secretiveness and unanswered questions from those we are giving our loyalty to, we need to step back and look again, If there is constant denial that anything is wrong by those following, we need to step back and look again. If you are attacked for asking a question or pointing out something that appears wrong, then you need to step back and look again. Has your loyalty to whatever or whomever become addicting to you and you find you must be constantly checking on whatever it is you are loyal to…you can’t make it one day without some contact, then it is time to step back and take a good look.
Being loyal to something or someone is not bad. It is just when we take it to the extreme, when we refuse to hear anything about it other than the “singing of praises”, if it consumes us and we don’t’ realize that we are giving up our time, our money and even our true will, then it can be harmful for psychology has found that people with misguided loyalty will defend and be loyal to something even when it is turning into something bad.
- Comfort foods
- Dreams for the future
- Eating Out
- Etta James
- Female Impersonators
- heart center
- helping others
- Native American
- New Year's Resolution
- Protection from fraud
- Rocky Mountains
- US Military