Loyalty can be a Fault | Daily Prompt: Imperfection

Imperfections — in things, in people, in places — add character to life. Tell us about an imperfection that you cherish.

Who would think of loyalty as a weakness, a flaw, a mistake?

I would.

For the record, I have yet to meet another person who believes the same thing. All that I have heard from other people about loyalty is that it is such a great virtue that it is to be valued when found and taken care of not to be lost—which is true. I do not and will not contest any of that. Humans laud loyalty, esteem it with such great honor and wonderful praise. In fact, loyalty is such a unique strength and a particular characteristic that individuals could be awarded or rewarded for having such. And if people do not have it, they are implored to find examples and emulate them then exercise the virtue themselves.

Too bad most people don’t see the other things that loyalty brings out and about in people.

1: if you are loyal, you will still stick around, in spite of the hurt and the pain. It may not have been like that at the start. “Loyalists” tend to be an optimistic bunch. Most believe that it’s just a phase or something and that it would be over sometime after. (Now you have an idea how some masochists started out.)

2: if you are loyal, you can do without the recognition. Certificates, plaques, and trophies are nice but—take those out of the expenses—and you’d have more for the budget. Besides, just mention people in a speech and they’d be fine. Sometimes even just a pat on the back would be okay. And there are even others who go out of their way to say “I DO NOT NEED TO BE APPRECIATED! I’M STILL GOOD WITHOUT IT!” And mean every word of it. (This is the point where those who are taken for granted collide with the user-friendly.)

3: if you are loyal, you will learn compromise. You will overlook mistakes. You will forgive errors. You will turn a blind eye from one thing to another to keep the work going smoothly. And if things are getting rough and catching the attention of others, you will do your part of the damage control. (Hence spin doctors and their ilk.)

4: if you are loyal, you must forgive even when you yourself aren’t forgiven. Unforgiving types have difficulty being loyal for, once terribly hurt, they will leave. No one can demonstrate loyalty if, every time they are slighted, they go away and never come back. Loyalty is best defined by presence, not by absence. (Hail the saints and prophets.)

Anyone can tell you about the good parts and the perks of being loyal. But not everyone can tell you about saving a seat for someone who sat somewhere else, making a party for people who did not show up, or welcoming a person who never wanted to be there in first place. Not everyone knows that at the end of the string called loyalty is big tin can called abandonment. They have issues with it. They could always hear it coming from miles away—so they place great distance between themselves and that big tin can. They’re not afraid of abandonment itself. It’s the pain inside it that they don’t want.

Loyalty can be preceded by such words as absolutely, undoubtedly, stubbornly, stupidly, and inexplicably, among others. Loyalty is a strength that could be turned into a weakness, a certainty that could lead to doubt, and a success that could prove to be a mistake. Loyalty can be a fault.

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