I’ve been thinking about loyalty lately. Are you a loyal person? Me? You want to know if I am? Well, read on.
You can say I’m a product of a broken home and therefore my capability for loyalty was destroyed with that particular act. Not trying to place blame here, but looking for some understanding. My parents and I have talked about their amicable divorce and we’re all good, but it changes you, regardless. Or, as a member of Generation X, you could put a positive spin on it and say I’m independent. As a child, I hand-picked my friends based on how loyal I thought they would be to me, especially after my best grade school friend moved to California. Those girls, though nice, were not particularly compatible with me. But they were loyal and would be my friend no matter what. If you hurt me badly, I’m gone. Call it boundaries if you’d like; I have.
Upon closer examination, I find I’m more loyal towards products I buy than I am towards the people in my life. I buy the same laundry detergent, never even looking at the competitors. I have TV shows I watch and if I miss I catch up on them. I buy the same makeup – the same brands, not necessarily the same products – because I know they will work. I eat at the same restaurants. Sure, sometimes I branch out, but I rarely find one I like better than the old favorites. If you’ve eaten in Shelton you know what I mean. Seventy-seven restaurants and only a handful of them are any good
.I’ve discovered I’m not particularly loyal unless it suits my purposes and my ends. I feel sorta sheepish admitting this, but there it is. I’ve had very few friends who were, either. Some of that has to do with the passage of time and changing locations. I hold no grudges about that. It is what it is. Yet, I haven’t found people in leadership positions to be overflowing with loyalty. Politicians come to mind. Pastors move on, voted out by their congregation. Bosses hire, fire and move on to greener pastures. Where am I supposed to learn this enviable quality?
Perhaps this is why people adore their pets. Animals love you no matter what. Well, except cats. Cats are conditionally loyal. It’s legendary, in fact. Keep feeding them and occasionally petting them or let them sit on your lap/sleep on your side of the bed and you’re golden. You’re in like Flynn, whoever he is. Dogs are different. They will love you regardless. You are their master and they hang on your every command.
Where does that leave me? Should I be more like a dog or like a cat? I’m really torn on this one. Even dogs, when beaten enough, will bite the hand that feeds them.
We should define what it means to be loyal. Dictionary.com says: