Semper Fidelis

Whilst perhaps unsurprising to those as know my history, I myself was surprised to learn how important loyalty is to me. I recognize a matryoshka of qualities. Predictability means that I can accurately forecast a person’s actions. Dependability means that I can accurately forecast that a person’s actions will not harm me. Loyalty means that I can accurately forecast that a person’s actions will help me.

I would like to think that my loyalty is reciprocal. But past evidence shows that I can be loyal to those who are disloyal to me, at least to a point. Those loyal to me enjoy my full support; those disloyal to me enjoy no support whatsoever. This may seem harsh and reductive and it may well be that. But, considered in a context where every mistake can be fatal, I find it mandatory.

Loyalty is important to me because I spent so long being unable to depend on anyone. The loyalty of the two people most loyal to me was unknown to me for a variety of reasons. In the one case, cultural restrictions and my own youth hid much of their loyalty from me. In the other case, our youth limited most expression of that loyalty. I am still grateful for the loyalty they displayed, but I needed more perspective and wisdom before I could realize it. I have subsequently tried to express my gratefulness enough to compensate for my previous ignorance.

My professional mentor is named Kaleb. Having never heard the name before then, I asked its meaning. He said it literally meant dog but had the connotation of the loyalty of a dog. As a dog person, I certainly recognize and appreciate the loyalty of a dog and find the canine mindset of a pack resonates well with me. Like the wild wolves, I will forcibly eject from the pack those who threaten its members. Those of the pack, though, enjoy my full, steadfast loyalty.

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