We Need To Talk: Loyalty
“Real friends are labeled as family; so I live by AFNF, All Family, No Friends.” – Boosie
Webster’s dictionary defines loyalty as the act of “having or showing complete and constant support for someone or something.”
The way people have been acting; I had no choice but to consult a dictionary for the definition because I was starting to forget what it actually was. Everybody loves to talk about how they “got you” until you actually need them, and then you can’t even get a text back. The truth of the matter is that loyalty is a dying trait.
Loyalty used to be one of those rare things in life where you could count on it being reciprocated by the ones you showed it to, until one day it must have become cool to be disloyal. Family used to mean something, you had friends that you always held down and they became family too.
The funny thing about loyalty is that it was supposed to be independent of everything in your life. It didn’t matter if I was winning or losing, those closest to me were supposed to ride with me regardless. I could be dead wrong, but once you tell me that I’m dead wrong, if I’m still standing on it, you’re supposed to stand with me, and we’ll deal with the consequences later. Loyalty was always supposed to be unconditional – until it wasn’t.
Somewhere along the line, things changed. It used to be if one person made it, we all made it. Now the second you stop keeping pace, you’re expendable and it’s on to the next one. People are disposable and nothing lasts.
I’d love to believe that this expendability only extended as far as business goes, but the shame is that it’s personal too. I have no problem with the fact that the Colts decided Peyton Manning could no longer put them closer to a championship, and shipped him out, that’s just business.
I especially had no problem when 50 Cent dropped The Game from G-Unit. Sure, Game had the 3rd best flow of the whole crew and Buck and Yayo couldn’t come close to filling his shoes, but Game betrayed the family and that’s not cool. You never take sides against the family, ever.
I had some issue with Meek and Drake beefing over Nicki, because I just can’t think of too many things in life fouler than two brothers letting things go south over a female. Where’s the loyalty? Or Meek and Wale? Or Meek and… well, it goes on. All this over a woman and some tweets? I can’t really excuse Meek’s pettiness over not getting the shout out when his album dropped, but I also can’t really understand Drake not showing some support there either. Boys will be boys though, and we could get a whole article out about those two.
What really disturbed me was Beyoncé’s Lemonade. How are you going to just air your dirty laundry out like that? I’m not giving Jay a pass for (allegedly) cheating, but the two of you really just violated about a half dozen different loyalty codes. Bey should’ve just come to Jay, face to face and handled that. That’s family. Supposed to be your ride or die. You’re not supposed to be okay with seeing his name drug through the mud like that. When your man violates, you’re supposed to shut that down and deal with it internally, no need to let it be a spectacle. Especially no need for you to be out here running that show like a ringleader. You could try telling me “but it was a business move and they made a kajillion dollars off it!” but I promise you I wouldn’t be hearing it, some things in life are more important than money, loyalty is one of them.
I guess the reason it all bothers me so much is because loyalty is life to me, there’s nothing I hate more than a disloyal individual. Loyalty is like a man’s word, if he doesn’t have it, he has nothing. If I can’t trust you, than there’s nothing more to be said. I’m at a difficult crossroad here, much like Robert Frost was, and I don’t like my options. Do I continue to carry on being loyal, only to be betrayed time and again? Do I accept that we live in a foul world and that loyalty is no longer something I should invest effort into? Do I just leave the path entirely and find a nice cave to live in, completely isolated from the world and the disloyal heathens that inhabit it? What do I do?
Loyalty isn’t weakness; loyalty is strength. Loyalty is the highest form of human decency, and it’s a shame that some people are incapable of that.