There is something inherent in humanity that values things we can rely on. Perhaps it is because every thing about out experience on Earth has been subject to change. Weather changes effect our ability to survive, changes in other effect our ability to connect with them. We are constantly looking to identify and create constants in our world to have something we feel worthy of putting our faith into. It is this concern that allows us to see loyalty as a virtue. Loyalty is the fundamental commitment of one person to another to stand by them without regard for the hardships that they may face together as a result. It is as close as we can get to unconditional love.
We also seek out this trait in our leaders, soldiers, and most certainly in our pets. At the root of loyalty in the person performing it is a faith that it is not ill-placed. That we can assume certain things about a person and their behaviors that are static and aligned with our own. Without faith, every facet of our social agreement crumbles. We need to have faith in our government, and faith in ourselves to even be able to hold up our end of the bargain when doing a job.
These two things in conjunction form the bonds that link us together. Faith and loyalty are more than just words that you find on the bedazzled t-shirt of a UFC fighter. They signify a commitment to each other. With this we form families, and our families, form tribes, and our tribes form nations. Tribalism is the essence of community, we become a close knit group of people familiar with each other enough to bet on the faith we have in each other.
These virtues however, are not one sided. At the same time loyalty is a desired it when it is blind it leads to dependency and surrender of control. When we give up our agency to someone without scrutiny we run the risk of them mis using it. Similar to a soldier that routinely follows orders that loyalty can land us in situations we are not comfortable with. The same for faith, when it is place in ideologies or individuals that are inconsistent or illogical problems arise.
Looking to politics we can see that we put faith in our representatives to work on our behalf but sometimes the ego of the person doing so will get in the way. So instead of highlighting the facts these officials move to bury them. We have a need to understand when loyalty becomes destructive to our goals. When we need to reexamine our leaders and ask if they are leading us down the right path. Though out history we have seen examples from Julius Cesar, to Bill Clinton of leaders who were brought down because they were not thought to be appropriate to put our faith in. This month we will seek understanding not only the nature of our allegiance but when it is warranted and what it is worth.