The Concept of Loyalty Affects Our Lives Daily

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While it is good to be loyal, there are limitations to that loyalty. Loyalty should be upheld until it becomes immoral or harmful to anyone involved. There are two types of loyalty. Simplified, they amount to the idea of basic and absolute loyalty. Basic loyalty is what is expected from everyone. This includes things like respect and upholding good morals (Nemko). Absolute loyalty is pure loyalty to someone or something. To expand, consider someone in a gang. They are absolutely loyal to those it, even though their ruins life.

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Continuing with the concept of absolute loyalty, it should never be given from the get-go. It’s unhealthy to always put other people or things, before yourself. Now, basic loyalty should be given to everyone. For example, a student should be loyal to their teacher and ot cheat on a test. On the contrary, if the teacher asks the student to kill someone, this is seen as irrational and the student is not expected to follow through. The same goes the other way; a teacher is expected to be loyal to her students in the sense that she should teach and help them. But, that teacher should not be so loyal to her students that she gives everyone a 100 for the semester. The big question is usually to be loyal to people or rules and social norms. In the example above, the teacher is more loyal to the rules than the students, as she should be. One’s differentiation between basic and absolute loyalty is defined by their moral compass and is different for everyone. With these different types of loyalty, its important to note the difference in power between them. Basic loyalty is not strong, because it is given to everyone until deemed not enough or not earned. Absolute loyalty holds much more emotional power, and it should only be given in intense relationships.

Whether one is loyal to their spouse, or to their friend, loyalty helps bond people closer. When people think of loyalty, they are usually talking about absolute loyalty. On the contrary, loyalty can also cause people to do the wrong thing. In the workplace, there are always, “people who, because they have job security, don't work diligently” (Nemko). It would be illogical to remain loyal to those people if they are not getting putting forth the effort required. On a larger scale, if a loved one or someone of importance wants something against that person’s moral compass, they are likely to give the loved one what they want. This is evident in plays like Macbeth. He goes along with his wife’s plan to kill someone because he is loyal to her (along with other reasons). Loyalty does not always have to be to a person, however.

People can be loyal to all sorts of things like gangs, ideals, countries, etc. In the Hunger Games, the richer districts are loyal to the way the capitol runs things; even though it’s unfair to most of the population. Those same districts even help maintain the oppression of the other districts. In these examples, loyalty is actually poisonous to society. In addition, loyalty can cause people to hold on to bad things. For example, trauma bonding causes abuse victims to stay with their abusers. Logistically, one should leave when faced with abuse or trauma. But, “in circumstances of abuse, the brain likely has the same attachment that anyone would have toward someone they love” (Feeman). This is what drives trauma bonding. Bonding happens in good and bad situations, and when the brain blocks out trauma, the only emotion left is the positive feeling of bonding (Freeman). This causes people become attached to a dangerous or chaotic situation. In conclusion, loyalty should have limitations, especially if it becomes detrimental. Loyalty is different for everyone, and one must choose what to be loyal to on their own.

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