Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What's Your Brand of Loyalty?

Loyalty...a word that maybe gets tossed around passionately in deep conversations, in shouted voice on the sidelines of athletic events and perhaps flirtatiously on barstools in your favorite pub.
Everyone proclaims some kind of loyalty to something, be it their family, work, city, toothpaste or car.
Loyalty differs not only with respect to what or who one is loyal to but also in the scope of it.
Flavor of the Day Loyalty says I think "this" is a terrific person, team, city, product and I will stay true to it...until the next next terrific person, city, product comes along and offers me more bang for my buck or more games in the winning column. With this kind of loyalty I don't want to tattoo your name on my arm... but I might consider a washable henna tattoo.
Because that is the Way it is Loyalty This loyalty says I am loyal to this because MY parents, family, teachers, ministers, coaches are... so therefore I am too. This type of loyalty is rarely questioned, thought about or consciously chosen. You don't see it emblazoned on anyone's arm either..because parents, teachers and ministers are not usually found with tattoos on their arm... be they ink or henna. This loyalty feels good..because it defines not only what we are loyal to but bonds us to a group we are comfortable with.
Floating Loyalty I will be loyal to a person or a thing over the course of many months and years. Our relationship waxes and wanes, according to what or who else I am currently being wooed by at the moment, and how convenient it is to be loyal. Floating loyalty is open to testing other newer and improved products and people but doesn't replace the old with the new..but instead just supercedes it and positions the old faitful brand down a little lower on the loyalty chain...maybe for now..maybe longer.
Until Forever Loyalty This loyalty plays out best between best friends, lovers, combat buddies and parents for their children. It says "no matter what you do, where you go, and whatever new thing supercedes me in your affections, I will always be loyal to you and know I can count on that loyalty in return from you. I don't need to get a tatto, ink or henna on my arm because this tattoo is etched in my heart and on my soul.
There is room within us for all of these kinds of loyalty, and more besides.
Our lives are multi-colored afghans warmed by past, present and yet to be formed loyalties.
I cherish all the ones from my past, sustain the ones that I hold today and anticipate the fun of future ones.
I look at loyalty a whole new way!

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