(The following is an essay for my school assignment. It’s really last minute work. Sorry for any errors because I rushed this out and didn’t have the time to proofread.)
Loyalty is a word that is so easily spoken yet difficult to demonstrate. One can be loyal to a broad range of things. For an example, patriotism showcases loyalty to country, terrorism showcases loyalty to one’s beliefs, and materialism showcases loyalty to matter. The list can go on but one thing in common is that loyalty involves total commitment, full devotion and personal sacrifice.
The best example of loyalty could be demonstrated through a viral video clip that had netizens abuzz. In the video, a young hooligan was taking his pet dog out on the streets when a rival gang assaulted him out of nowhere. The assault was so brutal that the young hooligan succumbed to his injuries and died on the spot. The dog remained unharmed. As the young hooligan lay motionless on the ground, the stunned dog continued to stay close by his side even as his blood was splattered across the road. Resting its paws on the deceased’s chest, the dog gave a gentle nudge and attempted to wake its owner up. Paramedics arrived soon after and wrapped the deceased up. The pawed-creature gave the paramedics a blank stare that displayed a frenzy of emotions and finally barked at them, as if saying, “What am I going to do now?”
With the deceased all wrapped up and loaded onto the ambulance, the paramedics shut the vehicle’s doors and drove off. The lost canine attempted to chase the vehicle but eventually lost sight of it. There, the video clip stopped playing, putting an end to the fine demonstration of loyalty through the showcase of the dog’s devotion to its master.
Correspondingly, in the rise of the recent slashing cases in Singapore, many concerned citizens became aware about the state of gangsterism locally. As police apprehended gangster suspects and their associates, an observation was made. Like the loyal dog that stayed with its owner to the end, the gangsters do not know what they are fighting for but still remained loyal to their gangs until the extent that they are willing to put aside their families and school commitments to fight for their disillusioned glory. They are totally committed and fully devoted to their gangs, and their participation in gang fights usually result in a personal live sacrifice.
Similarly, when we put this concept of loyalty in the exchanging of marriage vows, the newly weds make a public proclamation of their loyalty to one another. Their total commitment, full devotion and personal sacrifice can be summed up through the assertion that they will hold on to each other “for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.” This is a very integral aspect of loyalty because when the going gets tough, life often throws better options at us so that we could take the easier way out. It takes a lot of self-control and strength for a man to say “No” to his stunning and sultry secretary at work. To affair-proof his marriage and prove his loyalty to his wife, the man has to go through the test of loyalty. He cannot claim to be loyal and faithful to his spouse until he is proven loyal and faithful. This can be found out when there is no one else left in the office and his secretary throws herself at him, but he pushes her away and thinks about his ugly wife at home.
This test of loyalty, unfortunately, is not difficult to pass. All throughout history, there have been many examples of people who had taken the test of loyalty and failed miserably. Such examples included Judas, one of the disciples of Jesus. Even though he had been serving alongside with Jesus throughout His years of ministry and witnessed the many miracles that Jesus performed, Judas was tempted by the monetary gain that was offered to him in exchange for his betrayal to his master. As a result, Jesus was crucified and a new religion was formed.
White-collar crimes, such as fraud, are also another representation of failed tests of loyalty. By siphoning the company’s profit into one’s personal bank account, the employee has discredited himself as a loyal staff member and subjected himself into the arms of the law.
However, just like pride, honour and glory, loyalty is not forever. It will pass away with time. A man may reject an affair to be loyal to his spouse, but for him to continue staying loyal, that loyalty has to be sustained. Loyalty to his wife can be sustained by acts of kissing her affectionately every morning before he leaves for work and especially, pampering her with material gifts. Such acts demonstrate his total commitment and full devotion because all his money is spent on her and he cannot afford to stray away.
Although it is not easy to remain loyal, loyalty is still a virtue that everybody should uphold. Companies and marketing brands recognize this fact. It is not easy to retain customers in a competitive market where rival brands always have something better to offer. Therefore, customer loyalty programmes are introduced and returning customers receive incentive packages and privileges because the highest level of respect is reserved for loyalists who are totally committed, fully devoted and sacrificial even though there are better options.
Without loyalty, it is difficult to maintain a relationship regardless whether it is a friendship, marriage relationship, or a business partner relationship. It is through loyalty that trust is built and nurtured, and only then, the relationship can be preserved.