For me, loyalty is the perfect example of "you only value something after you lose it". I was blessed to grow po very much sheltered from the bad and the ugly of the world. I grew up in what my mother likes to call a Pink Bubble - nothing bad ever happened in my childhood and early adolescence. But later in life, the Pink Bubble popped. I won't get into details of what caused the Pop, the relevant part of this story is that the Pop made me realize that not all of my friends were loyal to me, not even all of my extended family. Because the kind of loyalty I want to discuss in this article isn't limited to romantic relationships and cheating, but rather its the friend and family loyalty that gives me a secure base to walk through life and face all of its challenges.
But back to my story - the Pink Bubble popped, and I realized I could count all of my real friends in the fingers of a single hand. Coming to college made me realize, though, that these real friends are even harder to come by than I used to think. Treating people the way you want to be treated - contrary to what my mother says - doesn't always work, nor does explicitly telling someone how you expect them to treat you, or explaining to them in a lighter tone why certain actions they had may have hurt your feelings. A couple of months ago I realized that I was half-way through college and I wasn't sure if I had made any real friends. Sure there were a few potentials that with time could become real friends, but I wasn't really sure.
So that led to some self reflection - was I being paranoid in not seeing some of these people as real friends? Were my standards too high?
After a lot of self-reflection and some therapy, I realized that although I didn't live in the Pink Bubble anymore, I only wanted to meet Pink People - perfect people with no flaws. Maybe my standards were too high. And this is where my reflection links back to loyalty. My real friends from home are,aas is my mother and as am I, extremely loyal people. Our loyalty runs deep enough that we would surpass other moral principles in the name of loyalty. I take the saying "a true friend helps you bury the body" seriously (not that I have ever been an accomplice in a murder). If someone who isn't a real friend tells me something that I think a real friend would simply like to know, I will instantly text them about it, even if the other person has told me not to tell. If a real friend needs me for some reason, I will stop doing whatever homework, leave whatever person or uber across whatever city to help them (and I am not nearly this compassionate for other people). If a real friend does something that I know is wrong, I will tell them my opinion on the matter but I will defend them to other people regardless. If a real friend lies to someone in front of me, I will play along with the lie even without knowing the person.
But does this make any sense? Is it right to act this blindly? Should loyalty overstep morals?
I have no answer to these questions. Instead I ask, wouldn't it be terribly lonely to live life without having people you can absolutely and unconditionally count on?
Although, as I have previously mentioned, treating others the way you like to be treated doesn't always work, it does work sometimes. And I live for that sometimes. Even though only time will tell if my potencial real friends in college will actually become real friends, I will treat them with this loyalty. Keep an eye out for another article on this topic in ten years, as I hope to be able to write that I was right about them.