I am one of those people who rank loyalty as perhaps the most important factor in friendship. An unwavering allegiance is to me the bedrock of any meaningful relationship, but when does loyalty become blind loyalty? Even though I believe that family and friends should stand resolutely behind one another in times of trouble, I often wonder what I would do if a close friend or family member was found to be guilty of a bad deed or crime such as stealing or fraud. Would I still be by their side? Sometimes circumstances pit blind loyalty against true conscience, and as much as I am big on loyalty to anyone whom I consider to be close to me, turning a blind eye to a less than admirable conduct is another kettle of fish entirely as it translates to being loyal to a person or cause inspite of who they are or what they have done. If my good friend or family member does something bad, do I stick it out with them or pursue good moral judgement by following true conscience?
True conscience urges us to act in accordance with good moral values, a scrupulous and honest disposition. It is predicated upon common sense and rationale which nudges us to speak or act in the right manner based on the facts of a particular situation, while blind loyalty like the name suggests overlooks the negative aspects or bad behavior in the name of protecting a devotion or allegiance to a person, group or cause. At some point, I used to think of myself as a blind loyalist who would remain loyal to anything or anyone I believed in regardless of how they were perceived by other people. If the person in question is upright and uncontroversial then it becomes an easy task to be loyal, however if the reverse is the case then one may be risking the compromise of ones integrity in the defense of an ally.
Take a situation where you have to vote for the most talented in a singing competition where a friend is participating- your friend doesn’t have to be the best singer in the contest before you vote them to win- now that’s loyalty even though some may tag it blind loyalty. However, if my friend was involved in a bank heist which I am aware of and the hunt was on for whoever perpetrated that act, then keeping quiet would be tantamount to blind loyalty as well as aiding and abetting. And that’s the quagmire…does one tell on a friend or family in the event of a wrong doing or remain loyal albeit blindly? According to the Urban Dictionary, loyalty is only a virtue if the person or cause is good. Therefore, blind loyalty is foolhardy and ultimately detrimental as silence is deemed a form of collusion even though it may appear to be an honorable gesture at first.
The 2015 elections are just around the corner and suffice it to say that blind loyalty is what would make an electorate feel obliged to vote an obviously incompetent candidate who has no plans whatsoever to implement any project worthy of note when he assumes the position of power just because he is a brother’s friend’s neighbor’s uncle. Blind loyalty is what would compel a minister to award the construction a highway to a rookie contractor who has never even constructed a one lane dirt road before just because they are distant cousins. Blind loyalty is what would make the members of a church defend their Pastor till thy kingdom come even though he has been indicted several times in cases of adultery and misappropriation of church funds. Blind loyalty is responsible for where we are as a nation today. Loyalty is not the same as blind loyalty and should not be misconstrued as one. At the end of the day, a true conscience trumps blind loyalty.