Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Loyalty - GBE2 Word Prompt for Week #18

What is loyalty? Does it mean that you are so devoted to your employer, your spouse or your country that you would never think of uttering a single word that might imply you disagree with something they have done or are doing? Or does it mean that you will stick by family through thick or thin, loving them no matter what, refusing to believe they are capable of wrong-doing?

There is a tendency to take this word and put extremes to its meaning. By having an “all or nothing” approach to defining to the word, I believe it actually diminishes the meaning. I believe one can be loyal without ignoring reality. I believe you can be a patriot without denying the wrongs done by your country. I believe you can be a loyal spouse and still see their imperfections. I believe you can love your job and the work you do without agreeing with everything your employer does.

Unfortunately, far too many don’t see it that way. They believe being loyal means never disagreeing with those to whom you are loyal. I disagree with this perspective. One doesn’t abandon a child simply because they’ve done wrong (at least, a reasonably decent parent doesn’t). Why should disagreeing with actions taken by my employer or my country make me their enemy? In today’s political climate, there is that “all or nothing” perception that is quite discomfiting. It borders on blind loyalty wherein to ask questions amounts to a type of apostasy akin to the thinking of many cults. Do not look beyond your leaders because only your leaders have the answers.

We are a country that was formed by those who asked questions, who challenged authority when authority abused its position. That there are those who believe that any kind of dissension borders on treason is frightening, especially given that some of them believe they are channeling the original intentions of our founders, who want laws that reflect their stern positions.

To me, loyalty is not blind allegiance, but the ability to stand by something or someone regardless of disagreement. I believe you can be loyal to a child who has committed a crime without denying that they have done wrong. It means you don’t turn your back on them or stop loving them. I believe many whistleblowers are loyal employees who don’t want their employers to cause harm. If they weren’t loyal, they’d simply leave. A loyal spouse doesn’t ignore wrongs, but is willing to look beyond them (within reason, of course). And, a loyal patriot wants what’s best for their country and is willing to stand up to wrong-doing and be a corrective component much as a parent is to a child.

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5 Comments:

Blogger Jo said...

Well, what a great view you have. Loyalty isn't blind, but steady. I see you did wrong, but I still love you. Been there and done that my whole life! Love it Wendy. Good job.

September 21, 2011 at 8:11 PM  
Anonymous Angela Parson Myers said...

Absolutely agree with you. Loyalty isn't denying fault, but looking beyond fault to the good within.

September 21, 2011 at 11:37 PM  
Blogger Gene Pool Diva said...

Oh yes, my family likes a rollicking debate. The quickest way to lose our interest is by ultimatum.

September 22, 2011 at 10:14 AM  
Blogger Word Nerd said...

Terrific outlook! I absolutely agree, loyalty means standing solid through it all--eyes wide open.

September 22, 2011 at 2:16 PM  
Blogger Lisa Ricard Claro said...

I agree with you! Well said.

September 25, 2011 at 10:50 PM  

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