Loyalty...Does/Can It Really Exist?

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    Dec 15, 2008 2:44 AM GMT
    Loyalty-- is faithfulness or a devotion to a person or cause.

    The concept of loyalty is an important part of ethics. Plato originally said that only a man who is just can be loyal, and that loyalty is a condition of genuine philosophy. The philosopher Josiah Royce said it was the supreme moral good, and that one's devotion to an object mattered more than the merits of the object itself.

    To me, loyalty falls in the lines of love, emotion, personal life, ethical principles & virtues.

    There are different venues of loyalty, although, there are some very weird or fucked up ways people can express it. For instance, if I had a guy/girl to call my own, I would, at times, put them first before my friends because there are things that my friends can't do that my better ½ can. Now, as far as friends go, that is another topic. There are friends & then there are FRIENDS. Friends are there because you know them & they're not too concerned with their surroundings. Then there's FRIENDS. Those are the true ones who know what you do & despite knowing what you do, they have your back when you fall, they give shade every now and then & are not worried about being seen by others for who they are & what they do.

    For instance, you get sick, I'll be there for you to back you up when you need it, hell, I can stick my muscled neck out for you. When those who say they are too busy to talk to you or see you, I'll be the shoulder that you need to cry on. No matter how bad (to an extent) you treat me, I still hold you in positive regard. I will love you at your best & love you even more when you are at your worse/worst. Don't forget that I need some form of reciprocation, as well, too.

    Now a few years ago I got real sick, I mean REAL sickicon_redface.gif. I almost died from an allergic reaction to strawberries & I never knew that I was allergic to them. The people who I considered my friends in the gay community (what in the HELL was I thinking?!??) answered their phone calls from me, which was okay, but out of all that I did for them, they didn't know me enough to come see me & wish me Godspeed in my recoveryicon_redface.gif. That & my bf at that time, well he claimed he never got my messages via voice mail or otherwise (oh trust, I dropped him 48 hours later, literally). I called him prior to being admitted, during my stay & after I was released. None of the aforementioned didn't know me enough to come see me but they damn sure had their mouths open for a handout on drinks & THAT is when I realised-- "Who the hell are these people & how do they know my name?" It hit me harder than a ton of bricks & to this day, my trust with "friends" in the gay community & dating/getting to know someone has been damaged, therefore, I keep those kind of acquaintances, or whatever you call it, to a MINIMUM. Then you really have to ask yourself...

    Does Loyalty REALLY exist?

    And yet, I have the same people left & right telling me to "Hey, be nice". My reaction to that is, "Hey, be loyal." They're left standing with broken faces WITHOUT an explanation as to why (they know why) I don't shake their hands or why I prefer the gym over a night out with them.
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    Dec 15, 2008 3:59 AM GMT
    Most people aren't worth a plugged nickel.. but once you realize that and stop expecting to find integrity/honesty/worth within their shell.. *shrug*

    As they say, it is what it is.

    I live in a farming/ranching community and you can't lie/cheat/steal your way through life here. I've known some people who view honesty as a novelty, something showy to possess, but nothing that carries any real value compared to the slightest inconvenience to them.

    When I meet someone they start at Neutral, from there they can show me what sort of person they are.

    Adversity builds character and for some, they just don't have enough. If they even know what it is.. and it's not choosing between a low-fat latte or a non-fat mocha. icon_rolleyes.gif

    I'll say this though, if I know someone to be a good person I will go out of my way to lift their burdens. And if we are friends I will be loyal, not for their sake but my own. I've been screwed/stabbed in the back before, and if I did any stabbing I'm sure I would feel the cut twice as cleanly as the stabbed.

    Unless they had it comin', of course.
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    Dec 15, 2008 4:50 AM GMT
    Does Loyalty exist?

    Yes been Loyal to every friend, lover, and family member.

    Its not that hard to be loyal if its how you are normally.
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    Dec 15, 2008 7:35 AM GMT
    Yes, loyalty exists; but in any avenue in which you seek to find it, you will find that it is very, very rare.
  • josephmovie

    Posts: 533

    Dec 15, 2008 8:12 AM GMT
    Ahh, the late twenties, when the rose coloured glasses start to come off.

    Of course there is loyalty. What has happened is that life has taught you a lesson, that being that not everyone has the same values that you do.

    No big deal, we all work that out sooner or later. Just continue be more selective about the company you keep - and why you keep it.
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    Dec 15, 2008 8:58 AM GMT
    loyalty is just an outcome of a good friendship: if it's based on ephemeral reasons such as looks, prestige etc chances are that it will break apart at the first road block. icon_redface.gif
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    Dec 15, 2008 3:00 PM GMT

    We think that loyalty, like trust, is earned. How is it earned? There's a lot of ways, and some require no effort at all.

    An example for me was watching Bill with people. Sensitive to others' needs, caring about animals and how they're treated, looking after his place and his belongings, his work ethic. His physical language (woo-hoo!). See? No effort.

    Now for effort : How he expressed his feelings towards me, doing this in a way that I could relate to, recognizing that to get this communication happening and happening well, it required him to see Doug's POV on life and love. The same was true for me, to see Bill and how he related to the world around him and to himself. Then I knew better how to tell him, with what words and what gestures he understood (in ways that meant something to him), to have him feel loved and respected. It was huge fun (nice kind of effort) discovering what turned him on! heheh
  • Sayrnas

    Posts: 847

    Dec 15, 2008 4:45 PM GMT
    meninlove said
    We think that loyalty, like trust, is earned. How is it earned? There's a lot of ways, and some require no effort at all.

    Damnit your smart...
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    Dec 15, 2008 5:04 PM GMT
    Loyalty does exist, but when it comes down to the nitty gritty most people only care about themselves. It's a sad thing what you went through TheWayItIs, if I was your friend I would've been there everyday! I can always bring a smile to the faces of people I care about!

    I know how you feel, maybe not to that point, but I've been through betrayal. Sometimes no matter how you feel about a person you have to always watch your back...
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    Dec 15, 2008 5:17 PM GMT
    Loyalty is out there, it exist within good people. Its a quality that's rare but people allow it to bloom when the opportunity is presented.

    When my boyfriend was sick, I nursed his (sorry-ass) from his sickness. I almost had to admit him to the hospital till I called my best friend who shared a cure for his fever. Yes, I know its a fever and some of you are thinking, "its only a fever" but the poor guy also losing fluids, in both ends.

    Its just a chance to go far and beyond for someone you care about. Loyalty is a virtue, such a patience (is this reply over yet) and good behavior (even though you want to say awful things to a person's face but keep it to yourself).
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    Dec 15, 2008 5:42 PM GMT
    Loyalty.......kinda goes with integrity. And integrity is non-situational. You either have it all the time, or you don't.

    I'm not sure how some people sleep at night when they are not loyal to friends and loved ones.
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    Dec 16, 2008 3:33 AM GMT

    Having been on the receiving end of much loyalty; yes, I believe it exists. I also believe that accepting support when you need it can be very challenging and that extending loyalty to others is a challenge and a privilege. Remaining loyal to oneself - whether extending help to others or accepting help - is perhaps the toughest part of all .
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    Dec 16, 2008 3:14 PM GMT
    This is interesting... many of you seem to associate loyalty with concepts like friendship, caring and empathy. For me, those are completely different things.

    I do like the line TheWayItIs started with:

    "Loyalty-- is faithfulness or a devotion to a person or cause."

    But, to me, loyalty implies unqualified faithfulness or devotion. In other words, if you are loyal to a given person, you will support that person come-what-may.

    The problem with this is that it can lead us to support persons or causes who are actually wrong, out of a sense of loyalty. It also creates situations where a person who is in the wrong may accuse you of disloyalty because you don't support their choice/behavior/actions/whatever. The implication is that, no matter how wrong they are, you are more wrong because you are disloyal to them.

    If I'm going to give unqualified support to something, I prefer that it be to a principle, rather than to a person or cause. Every person or cause will be in the wrong from time to time.

    On the other hand, I may love a person unconditionally... but that's a completely different thing, IMO.
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    Dec 16, 2008 3:40 PM GMT
    I tend to agree with both meninlove and FitExecutive.
    I don't believe in blind loyalty. It exists but I found it is not for me.
    If someone is kind to me, doesn't take me for granted, respects me, gives me the benefit of the doubt, allows me my integrity, then I will be loyal and remain loyal. It is not a hard an fast rule that can be breached by the smallest transgression. That requires a perfection that doesn't exist.

    I don't expect loyalty from others without having earned it. I also expect that they should tell me what their concept of loyalty is before I will be loyal.

    I see it as a 'state of being' rather than a specific action.

    Like many things in relationships, friends/partner/family:
    Be honest with me as I shall be honest with you.
    Love me as I shall love you.
    Respect me as I shall respect you.
    Be considerate of my flaws as I shall be considerate of yours.
    Support my effort to improve myself as I shall support yours.
    Don't judge me and I won't judge you.
    (These are all concurrent actions, not the 'you do it first then I'll do it back' kind of approach.)
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    Dec 18, 2008 1:05 AM GMT
    Well, I hate to sound like a broken record on this, but since this is a subject I have written about many times, I guess I will add my opinion...

    Again, loyalty has many roots in American society in terms of friends, lovers, how we as males have been raised, and how being gay threw all that into a tailspin. Males instinctively do not trust other males. Couple that with the fact that, most gay males are experts at deception and lying in order to survive (closet) - unfortunately, even after coming out, rather than ending the cycle of lies and deceit, we keep doing this to other gay men (I've seen so many guys I know who didn't attend a damn day of college tell other guys 'I'm a lawyer!' or 'I'm a CEO of blah blah blah!') - it's this expertise in crafting stories and getting other to believe it in order to boost an image or illusion that never even existed except in our minds. But getting back to loyalty - when everything about who you are has been built on lies, caring about what you look like, and only caring about other people based on what they look like, you lose sight of a thing called character - who is this person? Why should I trust him? Why should I envision a future with him? What is loyalty?

    How does a group of men who generally never got a chance to learn how to socialize and date same sex partners during the age period where one learns how to date (14-1icon_cool.gif learn this 15-20 years later? By that time, we have thrown the concept of 'loyalty' out the window and picked up on something else - survival skills. Many of us know that when it comes to two men, eventually both men will end up on his own and must be able to live with that. With us, that is the norm - not the exception. Because of that many of us are always on guard. I would like to say we could learn how to be loyal to another man - but look at these profiles - they don't say 'one man' - they say 'MEN' as in - I need a backup in case this one doesn't work - I can't trust you so I need three other guys to fall back on. What a way to make someone feel special or personal!

    We are decades away from marriage, guys. Just because we might have the right to get married doesn't wave a magic wand over our heads and solve years worth of problems associated with being gay, being male, and how we have treated each other in our relationships. We are the ones who allowed this deadly virus to spread for, what, the last 30 years (sometimes fully aware of what we were doing) because we didn't care what happened to the guy the next day - we didn't bother to even learn his name. Who cares about his health? It's his fault.

    That is what has to stop. Otherwise, either nobody will take part in marriage or our divorce rate will be higher than 90%. We don't need 'marriage rallies' - we need workshops on how to HAVE relationships, and how to date. What is happening right now is not working.