Loyalty – commitment, allegiance, dedication (noun). The act of binding yourself (intellectually or emotionally) to a course of action.
Seems in our culture the concept of loyalty is constantly being challenged; you’re either for or against, in or out, this or that. Yet our actions and reactions as individuals often show no cognizant understanding of why we support a particular reason or cause, and tend to lean more towards a notion of “blind loyalty”.
The UrbanDictionary.com describes Blind Loyalty as follows;
Being loyal to a person or cause despite the damage the person or cause does to himself or herself or others. Excusing bad behavior in the name of protecting allegiance to another seems honorable at first, but is ultimately dangerous as silence is a form of collusion. Many people feel torn between retaining loyalty to a cause or group and risking rejection or ostracism or personal attack by outing misconduct. Blind loyalty involves a form of cognitive dissonance where a person sees evidence of a problem or bad behavior and then turns a blind eye to the truth in favor of keeping a positive image of the person or cause. Knowing in your gut that something is wrong, and yet acting as if everything is fine.
Often we find ourselves throwing allegiance behind a person or cause for no other reason than our family and friends do, or it’s the popular stance within our community. It may be how we were brought up and introduced to a specific situation, and those beliefs have held true… well, because that’s what we’ve always believed.
I find as I grow older that looking in the mirror isn’t just about counting gray hairs, but truly understanding what the face in the reflection looking back at me stands for. That was tough to do when I was younger, as I seemed to have all the answers without having ever really faced any of the questions.
So as readers of TheFootballEducator.com, I’m going to ask you to challenge your own notion of loyalty (feel free to pick the subject). Are you blind to your following, or do you see what’s worthy to be followed? Look in the mirror and ask the one staring back whether or not a particular person/cause has earned your commitment, allegiance, and dedication?
For this exercise we’re going to divide into Reds & Blues. The delineation will be clear in the definition of what each stands for. Take it upon yourself to analyze the reflection in the mirror, and whether that reflection is reflective of the common traits or practices of the given group. Then ask yourself this – Would I be willing to give my LOYALTY to a particular person exhibiting these traits?
Here we go;
- Reds are inherently even keeled in their approach to most problems, crisis, situations, or circumstances. Blues rely heavily on the emotions of the moment, usually reacting from past perception or precedent.
- Blues tend to respond to the short term consequences and outcomes of a situation. Reds ponder the long term ramifications of their decisions.
- Both are highly driven to WIN. Reds look for long term stability in maintaining success. Blues are more apt to create “win at all costs” scenarios.
- Blues typically are focused in the present and are concerned with real time outcomes. Reds analyze the “ripple effects” of results and how they affect other challenges yet to be faced.
- Reds tend to build with policies & process in mind, a stability of effort. Blues are apt to adopt plans with changing procedures based upon what works for a given moment.
- Blues tend to be centered on self and more driven by individual concerns. Reds contemplate from a group dynamic and are driven by the needs of the many.
- Reds are usually “straight forward” in their approach to dealing with others. Blues are not averse to manipulating situations to make their points.
- Blues are less likely to negotiate an outcome, rather pushing things from an authoritative perspective. Reds are more likely to use negotiation, as it is inherent in their responsibilities.
- Both have aspirations of success. Reds tend to lack a broad understanding of their role and focus solely on a particular skill set to get them to the top. Blues are masters of the system, working every angle to climb the ladder. Young Reds and Blues have both become impatient with the journey.
- Blues tend to represent themselves in matters of the collective. Reds tend to represent the position/perspective of the collective.
- Reds are BIG picture focused and see operations from multiple angles. Blues are NARROWLY focused on the job they’ve been tasked with.
- Blues find strength in numbers to advance their individual cause. Reds find strength in numbers to advance the cause of the collective.
- Both will look for the advantages that strengthen their own position. Reds tend to be less vocal, while Blues might use all resources to let their point be heard.
- Blues will sometimes seek complete control in order to ensure final outcomes apply to their unique vision. Reds are more likely to disperse responsibility through authoritative action, taking advantage of multiple expertise to execute their vision.
- Blues will use/manipulate the media as a tool to achieve all of the above. Reds will do the same, though not as overtly. The media flocks to the Blue vantage point, having heavy influence both from an inside/outside perspective.
- Often the media drives the Blue dynamic and plays a big role in Blue affairs. Reds tend to stay behind the scenes, but can be easily effected by media influence.
All the while, we the people pick the Red or Blue side without really knowing why we have. Frequently it’s formulated from a misguided, ill-informed perspective that is created by the “hype and circumstance” of a media that looks for 24/7 stories and the perpetual entertainment factor to influx into the drama of the moment.
STAND UP FOR WHAT YOU BELIEVE! I don’t care if you’re RED or BLUE, just find the reasons that you are and make sure they’re reflective of the face in the mirror. Is RED or BLUE truly an image of you and worthy of your own LOYALTY?
If you don’t like what you see, CHANGE IT! You have the power.