By anguillian May 2, 2017 08:54



Are you suffering from blind loyalty? Stop and think about it for a while. Why are you following the people you do? Is it out of a sense of obligation or of your own conscience or persuasion? You see, blind loyalty is dangerous and empty. It leads to dysfunction and has the tendency to cost you everything.
The dictionary defines “Blind loyalty” as being loyal to a person or cause despite the damage the person or cause does to himself or herself or others. It involves excusing bad behaviour in the name of protecting allegiance to another. It also means caring for someone no matter what he or she does. A person with blind loyalty trusts the judgment of the other person whether he or she is right or wrong. If you are suffering from blind loyalty, it may seem honourable at first, but it is ultimately dangerous as silence is a form of collusion.
The fact is, many people feel torn between retaining loyalty to a cause or group and risking rejection or ostracism or personal attack by outing misconduct. A blindly loyal person follows unquestioningly behind another. Often, the marching is done unconsciously because one doesn’t want to upset or anger another for the sake of keeping the peace. Sometimes, the blindly loyal person will “go along” with something even when common sense and rationale plead with him or her to speak out. Sometimes, the blindly loyal person willfully rejects hard core evidence just for the sake of going along. But that behaviour has the tendency to hurt and damages other relationships. Blind loyalty causes serious problems which can become systemic and, unless corrected, over time will become a huge challenge to resolve.
Blind loyalty involves a form of cognitive dissonance where a person sees evidence of a problem or bad behaviour and turns a blind eye to the truth in favour of keeping a positive image of the person or cause. Knowing in the gut that something is wrong and yet acting as if everything is fine. Some classic examples can be seen right among us. For example: the battered woman who protects her partner when there is a domestic violence situation, overlooking abuse in the workplace, covering of molestation among children, the denying of incest in families in favour of protecting others – and many other ills in society that the people know fully well are wrong.

Following for the sake of following has grave consequences. It is detrimental as the social damage can be incalculable. There are times that our loyalty can blind our judgment. At the extreme, this can have a devastating impact on one’s leadership capacity and how to run business. If we are to make sound decisions, we need to face the truth, examine the facts for what they are worth and do the right thing. One of the immediate consequences of blind loyalty is the inability to consider and question information presented. When we as a people stop thinking and evaluating the information presented to us, that is when we are likely to get in trouble. Over time, the credibility of those we follow will begin to erode when we fail to question the judgment of their decisions. Hence it is wise to replace ‘blind loyalty’ with ‘wise loyalty’. To assume that loyalty-based decision-making is prudent is unwise, and can save us from making many chronic problems in the future.

You may be wondering – where does “Blind loyalty” originate? Usually, it is formed in early childhood to win parental approval and love. Hence, it is always the tendency for a child to do anything in order to feel loved. The worse thing for a child to feel is disapproved of, unloved and unwanted. We all want to believe we had the perfect family so we ignore the imperfections and transform family issues into virtues. However, the reality comes later when we see other people’s families who are functioning at a higher emotional level than us. That’s when we have a point-of-reference for comparison. But telling ourselves that something was perfectly wonderful when it was not, is emotionally unhealthy and a form of denial or repression. However, those feelings don’t disappear; they go underground to get projected and played out later in life.
It is important therefore, as we grow older, to learn to accept that no family is perfect and most did the best they could. When we come to that awareness, it is only then that we are open to this conscious shift from being a blindly loyal person to an authentically loyal person. It is worth bearing in mind that loyalty can be very easily misplaced and exploited. Therefore loyalty to Christ, and Christ alone, should be first and foremost. Loyalty to any man or any cause must always be predicated upon his or her loyalty to God. Let us be lovers of good men, and loyal to those who are loyal to Christ. We need to be an intelligent being, one who looks at the issues, examines the evidence and understands the costs – and then have the courage to follow based on sound decision-making and conviction. God does not expect us to follow anything blindly. We need always to count the cost first. Loyalty to any man must be based upon Godly principles, not out of a misguided sense of duty alone. Any approach to living that demands you to act irrationally is an impediment to your life, not a benefit.

Remember: Staying with someone who doesn’t appreciate you isn’t loyalty – it is stupidity. Never let your loyalty make a fool of you.

About the Author: Mrs. Marilyn Hodge owns and operates the Wellness Centre in the Farrington, Anguilla. The Centre offers Counselling Services by Appointment Only and has now published Positive Living Volume 2. Contact information: 476-3517 or email: marilynb@anguillanet.com. www.facebook.com/axawellnesscentre

By anguillian May 2, 2017 08:54


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