Monday, August 21, 2006


Loyalty is a curious subject.
  1. Steadfast in allegiance to one's homeland, government, or sovereign.
  2. Faithful to a person, ideal, custom, cause, or duty.
Loyalty sounds like something you should want to be. But you also don't wish to be called loyal by the wrong people. What is the deal with loyalty? Should I be loyal to my favorite automobile manufacturer? Favorite operating system developer? What about my country? state? ethnicity? employer? academic institutions? religion? family?
I've heard both positive and negative stories of people being loyal.

I've pondered many times on the subject, and I wish to explore it further.

Today I was leaving the university library as it was closing, and the speakers were blaring the fight song. I was filled with the desire to pump my fist in the air during the appropriate time, albeit I resisted the urge. Where exactly does that sort of urge come from?

I was raised in a state in the USA which is known for its pride. Where did this pride come from? Is it important for me to have pride in a state that I didn't choose to be a part of? What are the consequences of choosing loyalty or disloyalty?

Sometimes, when I hear the national anthem of the USA, my eyes well up with tears. Why? Is it because I know something? Is it because I feel something? What am I feeling and thinking exactly when that happens?

To what things should I be loyal? When? In what priority?

I hear married people talk about their unwavering loyalty to a spouse. I ask them how they can be loyal to a spouse that is incorrect, such as in a dispute with a neighbor. They say that they have to stay on "the same side" as their spouse. I can't really understand why that makes sense. Maybe they mean that in public they stay united, and in private the try to reach an understanding. Apparently lots and lots of loyalty is needed in marriages, or else they break apart.

This is a work in progress.


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