This is a topic that is rarely addressed in any depth, but it is one which, if you think about it, dictates just about every important decision you make. It’s incredibly basic and incredibly important, and no one ever addresses the topic…except obliquely. Your voting preference, the success of your marriage, your job, your relationship with your kids, your family and your friends (to name just a few) are all decided by which loyalty you put first, second, third, fourth, fifth, on and on.
Once you start to consider your own personal spheres of loyalty and rank them, things crystalize quickly…and the self knowledge of what is in that first sphere can be eye-opening.
Let’s look at the spheres in general first: Is your first love, loyalty and duty to: yourself? your spouse? your family? friends? your country? your political preference? your state? your military buddies? your species vs. the rest of the planet? your nationality? I could go on and on, but you begin to see the separation of these spheres.
Dig a little deeper and you will see that every book or movie or TV series that has captured your interest…has done so because it has grappled with two conflicting loyalties. The family unit, under attack from the “other woman” or “other man”. Classic love triangle. The soldier who has to weigh love of country vs. LOVE, or love of power or money. A hundred books have been written about this.
The fictional character of Spock on Star Trek provided a different and arguable “take” on the priorities. “The good of the many outweighs the good of the few.” Sometimes but not always.
In politics, a candidate, who is essentially a narcissist (love of self) vs. love of what’s best for the country. We’re experiencing this now. Don’t take me to task for I’ve mentioned no names, but the reference is clear. A good president’s FIRST concern should be the good of the country and its people. The political process should be respected. Races should be treated fairly, opposite genders should be treated with respect, the Constitution should be held in high esteem, and one’s own party should be treated with respect as should basic laws of the land. It’s against the law to call for the assassination of one’s competitor. Basic stuff……….. We are in the most frightening period in American history since the rise and fall of Joseph McCarthy, Huey Long, and the debacle of the Civil War.
Some might argue that we’re all basically “wired” the same. I don’t believe that for a second. In some families, the family reigns supreme and is the first consideration. The family I grew up in was, to my recollection, never that way. Sisters are often extremely close and extremely loyal. Brothers, however…..not so much. There’s a thing called the first-born syndrome and it’s common in nature as well. The first born male has a loyalty to…the first born male, often to the extent of wanting to exterminate competition from other male progeny. Myth? Nope, it’s alive and well in the world. Having experienced this first hand, I am keenly aware of it.
Think for a moment of any book, movie, or series, or movement in America that has been important to you. Scrape away the baloney and you will see these underlying spheres of loyalty and conflicts of loyalty within them.
The ones we usually hold in lowest esteem are the ones who think first of themselves and are willing to throw the rest of humanity “under the bus.” The ones we hold in highest regard are the opposite of that…the ones whom we call heroes. They are the ones who put their own welfare last for the good of their fellow man and humanity.
This essay was not generated with political motivations in mind, and yet things morph, even within an essay. Vote your humanity. Vote your loyalty for the mankind and the wonderful things spoken of in the Declaration of Independence. Let’s not let America drift toward the dark side, to hatred, discrimination, racial bias, misogyny, and sexism. Let’s not play to the worst in humanity but the best.
In your own private world, look to your own priorities of loyalty. Live up to the best you can comprehend…..not the worst that you fear.
God Bless America and God Bless the best in Humanity.
P.S. Having served as an LES officer on 18 Titan II missile sites, and having some silver in my hair, there was a thing discovered in the early 70s. The term is: Nuclear Winter and some generations, and perhaps one presidential nominee may have never learned the term. It is NUCLEAR WINTER. Here’s what it means: A nuclear war means the end of planet earth. In reality we don’t even have to hit Moscow or Beijing or anywhere because…wherever we fire them, the clouds of radiation have a half-life such that they will drift around planet earth and eventually kill all life. Might take a year or two, but that’s how it works.
In short, we really don’t want ANYONE to be considering a nuclear war. It’s not just dumb. It’s insane.
Well said Henry.
Thanks, Debbie. Hope you’re surviving this weather.
Henry and Pam,
On target again, so to speak.
Was hoping to get South this week but several things have gotten in the way. Storms, heatwaves, my Earle horse was in the hospital Thursday and an abandoned kitten in the hayloft.
I think any one of these may have held us from travel but all together I’m/we’re staying close to home in the cold. Oh, the new generator went out.
How did I forget the last few nights with off and on air.
Wade was looking forward to a Southern reunion with our Yankee friends.
As long as the invitation still holds,
We hope to get South, sooner than later.
Stay cool my friends. The South is hot.
Sounds like you’ve had a run of not-so-great luck lately. …Happens to all of us. And yup, the south is pretty hot. The north is hot, and I’m hoping this isn’t an increasing trend. Guest house is essentially finished and we’re still havin’ a ball down here! There’s a place about ten minutes from us that’s famous. They have 160+ flavors of home made cheese cake. Ain’t life grand???
Best to Wade, and the friends we’ve made down here have stripped us of our purely Yankee status. They say we fit in just fine.
Big hug to both of you.
Henry and Pam
I think loyalty can be ephemeral. I think that integrity can take precedence over all else. (Notice I didn’t say trumps all else). Believe me I value Loyalty fiercely but that can change in a heartbeat. You avoided using the word Trump. Why? If that is what you meant, say it. He believes loyalty is primo. Only his loyalty is only to himself…mirror, mirror on the wall, etc. In the military, loyalty trumps all…I’ll have your back, always. That’s the way it works. Always your loyal friend. I doubt that will ever change. Best to Pam.
Good to hear, my friend! Feels like a Friday afternoon and we’re in the middle an ethics seminar…the good ole days. I could agree with you, and still render the statement valueless. Under proper circumstances, virtually everything is ephemeral. Love, Truth, Loyalty, Integrity,…..as are their opposites. You mentioned Trump and suggested I do the same. I made my point, but with a twist. In order for a reader to go ballistic in their response, they already go to the same conclusion and thus make my point. Still, I had what was apparently a long-time troll, who went off the deep end and then proceeded to paddle deeper. Some illogic is just pointless to argue. No point in throwing pebbles in the monkey cage. You’ll probably get something worse back. Just about have the place fixed-up. Two months of manual labor has been the longest vacation I’ve ever taken.