We are all connected by an invisible thread but eventually becomes seeable the stronger it gets established. At the individual level, this link can be self-serving as in the case of one meeting one’s interest based on what it can gather from another person or peers.
But it can also be the complete opposite—it can be altruistic. At the group level where harmonious relationships exist, it is a connection that speaks loudly through action. Loyalty, as what we would normally call it, is, therefore, the cornerstone of every genuine relationship.
Like all pillars, loyalty is critical in all facets of our affairs. We sacrifice, we endure, and equally as important, we overlook simple faults because of the dignifying effect of loyalty. Removing it from the equation is tantamount to rendering ourselves divided—a situation where mistrust abounds more so than having faith in our fellow men.
As noble as the idea of loyalty may seem like in actual application, the world, as we know it, is a lot more segregated than we would hope it to be otherwise. We are far more fractionalised given our own unique and, oftentimes, contrasting beliefs—an antithesis to a picture painted with loyalty as the major motif.
And, yet, despite all the differences, we all still manage to agree on certain things—like choosing political leaders via a majority vote, as is the case in any democratic society. Or even something as simple as harmonious co-existing. Being loyal, in this case, is one borne out of upholding what is right in such a way that it meets everybody’s shared interest.
But loyalty, in and of itself, has always been an ambiguous thing, whose expected effect is not always positive. It, too, is not immune to not cause mistakes, such as in the case when we chose to willingly look past errors that subsequently leads to corruption. Blind loyalty, as much as power, in this case, causes depravity that only invokes hatred to those who felt attacked by its existence.
What happens when we tolerate wrongdoers into doing their thing?
That is right. They keep doing it. Like children who have not felt a spank on the rear, crooked individuals are made. Ergo, we ourselves are at a fault why the people we vote as leaders turn out to be debased.
Yet, while the problem may seem convoluted, it is actually simple. Despite the flaw inherent to the concept of loyalty itself, it is not totally removed of its good side—while it does make wrong, it also has the power to correct.
However, this kind of shift does not happen without mulling to reason. Until we realise that our loyalties are being too irrationally fixated towards something and not to ourselves, the corruptive power of loyalty would prevail.
Only when we shift it back to those who deserve it—the people or ourselves—do we understand that the solution is not too far away from the problem. If anything, they are like the two opposing sides of the same coin which can then be addressed by something as simple as shifting it the other way.
It is also worth noting, however, that “leaders” in this context are also varied, not just political in nature. For instance, in a culturally diverse society such as Australia alone, multiple cultural groups exist, each of which with its own roster of people acting as governing bodies of the group.
That kind of picture also plays on both the corruptive and beneficial power of loyalty, depending on how it is used. It goes without saying that, like with many organisations where money is involved, issues of corruption among group leaders commonly arise, also hinted by their sheer unwillingness to let go of their given power.
With all that being said, the ultimate question is this, therefore—Where does your loyalty lie? To your own, to a certain someone, or with the people, which includes yourself?
Despite what you tell yourself, the true answer is finally told by the quality of your action and choices.