I remembered back in 2005, I watched this movie called Kingdom of Heaven, and then I rewatched it and have seen it many times over since then. That oath above is from that movie, one of several quotes from the film I remember always, there is another, in Latin that hast stuck even greater. Knights, their reason for being just like Samurai have been interesting to me for their loyalty; of course, there have been terrible examples of them in history books, but by definition, their nature is noble.
When going through my list of things, I try to hold on to for dear life as much as possible is to be loyal, to God, first of all, my family and friends, country & work. Sounds simple enough, no big deal? Being that dismissive of something that at least to me as someone full of defects is hard, primarily when betrayal is found faster than a food post on Instagram. Remaining loyal even after being crossed is a practice of humility and forgiveness. Sometimes, walking away from a situation or someone is a proper response, holding no ill will or disdain. You see, loyalty isn’t just something so easy to come by even though people demand it. Silently, of course, to not let you know they care, remember, (insert sarcasm)never show something that could make you vulnerable. Loyalty it’s earned, with time, actions, and easily broken. Our first practice with having unbroken commitment is with ourselves, our values, morals, character, or word. I know that I may sound repetitive about values, morality, and such; maybe if we read about it often enough, we can go back to putting them back into our lives. I’m trying to help us, myself included, gain some of it back course correct our extremely veered off ship to get on our new path, one filled more with what’s right, not what’s convenient. No, the concessions that must be made don’t justify how the world is running itself.
We’re growing up thinking that whoever has more deserves your loyalty more, the determining factor is money, influence,what I can get out of it and convenience. Accept that loyalty doesn’t exist unless you bring value to the person/people you expect it from. The purpose we must bring to any relationship is loyalty itself. Unfortunately, dedication has become opportunistic and has no commitment unless you have something to gain from maintaining it. So the every changing trustworthiness brings on resentment from idealists who believe in a moral obligation rather than an economic or a socially beneficially motivated loyalty. The solution to this is to hold no expectations, but that is then viewed negatively by the same people who expect loyalty without providing it. Someone’s loyalty is something you can’t control, meaning it should be given while it still makes sense to offer it. Under moral standards. Talking down to you instead of looking at you in your eyes in support.
Peter denied Jesus 3 times, betrayed Him; how about that game-changer for humanity. Yet, that plaza in Rome, the huge one, called Saint Peter’s Plaza, same Peter, the rock on which the Catholic Church was built. Do some meditation on that; it all sounds so far gone and so fairytale-like because we’ve placed our value on things(money, position, acceptance) that obligate us into a loyal like posture but under threat of penance for not complying. Way back, like old school people, my word is my bond, and that was that. No questions that held a tight relationship valuing a person’s loyalty to their name to the commitment they had just acquired. Banks that are still standing and strong, hotel chains, transportation companies amongst other industries were built solidly on that, no contracts, no yearly renewal to commitments within partnerships or suppliers. Nowadays, we can’t even commit to being on time for something and get upset if we’re held accountable for not complying. Loyalty within business partners, employees, and employers, even competing businesses, need so much overwatch that we diversify our attention from our core businesses to try and shield ourselves fro betrayals. Those resources, which are more and more limited, more so in these times, should be allocated elsewhere, maybe on value training society and companies, for the real, not for a check or a beautiful logo to acquire more business.
Loyalty in relationships is something that has become so expendable: cheating, lying, stealing, public displays of mutually assured destruction, whatever anyone feels they’re entitled to, valid, go for it. Family units are victims of this loss of values. Even relationships are disposable if we find a better option; the commitment to someone else holds no weight if it hinders my comfort or desire. Why remain loyal to my partner if I woke up feeling that I wanted something more that day, just as interchangeable as having a burger or a baleada, sounds funny, but in reality is very sad and an accurate depiction of reality. Families fighting over inheritances, money destroys empires, and without belittling anyone’s businesses, sometimes small brick and mortar shops destroy families over cash and recognition. For what? To share with whom? What good is having anything if you have nobody to share it with? I insist; this pandemic was an excellent opportunity for a unique hard reset. With other attractive opportunities in life, it is wholly wasted to portray a non-altered reality, keeping up superficial appearances for validation amongst those same people you would betray for convenience. Life long friendships are lost continuously, betrayal for hire, dog eat dog; if I get ahead, sucks to be you, I’ll send you an invite to my event inauguration, you better show up with a smile. When does it end? What’s the limit, destroying people you supposedly care about, for short term gains or whatever term gains is not worth the commodity you acquire.
Loyalty to our country, this type of betrayal hurts the most. How often do we turn away, close our eyes, ignore, pretend, participate, applaud, cheer on? I know that deep down, in private conversations or semi-public conversations, some remorse must be had over validating in this type of betrayal to country and fellow citizens. I am bewildered, honestly, on how corrupt a person’s vision can get that it blurs your values to the point that allowing a deception trumps turning your back permanently on the culprits. Don’t misconstrue my distinct opinion on this matter with one that will suit your comfort with your behavior better. Someone’s cynical destruction of a valid idea clearly evidenced by our surroundings holds no weight, none, not a smidge, blemish, or dash of anything’s worth to make that commits treasonous acts against their country. You no longer hold no loyalty for your fellow citizens. You’re a traitor, with all the muscle that word brings, there are no ways around it; explain that to your surrounding circle, hopefully, their vision won’t be so corrupted by your behavior that they too will act accordingly.
I would rather rise and die a knight working tirelessly until the end towards remaining unbreakable. However romanticized that may sound to many, it’s a nobler search for a meaningful life than keeping a lazy mediocre existence of smugness validated by peers holding the same disloyal breath. You end up with neck problems having to look over your shoulder so much, waiting, not thinking, waiting for when you’ll get stabbed in the back because you would be as disloyal as those you hold close. Kindness, compassion, and empathy are more potent motivators than a contaminated logic based on social status, adulations, and money from a corruptible society up for auction from the highest bidder. Do a severe exercise o self-awareness and figure out who you are and what you want your legacy to be.
¨Nemo vir est qui mundum non reddat meliorem¨, this is the second quote in the move that I revisit often. If I would ever get a tattoo, it would probably be of this, not against tats; just can’t get away from something so permanent on my skin.
What does it mean?
What man is a man who does not make the world better?