Gimme an L!
September 23, 2004 7:44 AM   Subscribe

Note: the 'l' links to a pdf file. There are as many different interpretations/definitions as there are people on this big blue ball. Exactly why does it mean something ever-so-slightly different to everyone? [mi]
posted by kamylyon (9 comments total)
Not to be confused with fealty, loyalty comes in many different flavors.

Brand - "Oh I could NEVER buy anything but Brand-X!"

School - "Be true to your school!"

Family - "Blood is thicker than water."

Creed - "My religion is right!"

Country - "We're better than you because we live in THIS country!"

Intarweb - "OMG did you SEE that post on [insert other site of your choice]!?!"

You get the idea.

So, just what is it, and why does it mean something different to you?
posted by kamylyon at 7:45 AM on September 23, 2004

Loyalty = attachment.
posted by Blue Stone at 8:15 AM on September 23, 2004

Re: Why Loyalty means different things to different people. Because people have differing requirements of loyalty and its human nature to take what you want and overlook the rest.
posted by fenriq at 8:43 AM on September 23, 2004

This is funny: I see loyalty as one of my chief characteristics, yet I almost don't find myself in your list of loyalties (not a problem with your list - maybe a problem with what I am calling, in myself, "loyalty"). I have very absolute ideas about what, or who, deserves my loyalty, and almost always it involves reciprocation. The idea of any true loyalty to Communism from the Baltic states certainly lost all meaning very early on (as the underlying idealism rapidly morphed into cold, overbearing, ambitious bureaucracy), in a similar way that colonial loyalty was lost to greed and the failure to recognize or address colonialist issues. These are precisely the sorts of loyalty expectations that I would fail to support. Oddly, I guess I see myself more in the "Loyalty to a Service Worker" idea - this is something I do.
posted by taz at 9:04 AM on September 23, 2004

I'm loyal to a fault.
To me it's a fierce, unwavering devotion to the object of my loyalty. I have a hard time letting go of loyalty, even when I've been hurt or disappointed by said 'object'.
posted by kamylyon at 9:26 AM on September 23, 2004

Well.... I'm absolutely loyal to my love, my family, and my friends, but that can be degraded, somewhat. If I find that a friend is behaving in a way that I feel is disloyal to me, that friend gets shifted into another category. Would I then feel free to be disloyal to that person? Well, to be honest, I'm not even sure what that would entail. I also have a strong sense of personal ethics that would keep me from "talking out of school" about that person, or taking advantage of them in some way that I only knew about because we were once friends. In fact, for the most part, if you let me down as a friend, pretty much the worse you face is me shifting you to another category. So, at least on a personal level, losing my loyalty would probably never affect you very much (unless my trust was really, really important to you for some reason). With political, business, and religious leaders, the gloves are mostly off. I wouldn't hesitate to turn the corner and tell-all if found them to be false and dishonest.
posted by taz at 10:09 AM on September 23, 2004

Loyalty is self-interest behind a mask.
posted by rushmc at 8:46 PM on September 23, 2004

Loyalty is self-interest behind a mask.

Interesting interpretation rushmc.
posted by kamylyon at 8:56 PM on September 23, 2004

I don't know that people interpret it differently so much as the objects of their loyalty are so different, and what's expected as demonstrations of that loyalty, and often change over time, as others mentioned.

But maybe they do--to some, loyalty means you'd kill for what or whoever you were loyal to, while for others it's a more general belonging and devotion.
posted by amberglow at 9:08 PM on September 23, 2004

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