I am fiercely loyal to people, institutions, and one bicycle athlete. Unfortunately I am fiercely loyal beyond what they deserve. I want to believe that people are good. That people running an institution are good. That winning something seven times in a row after battling cancer is due to hard work after accepting one’s mortality.
Oh don’t get me wrong. These people or institutions have been good to me: given me opportunities for my own success, growth, and something to strive for (no, I wasn’t ever gong to be a bicycle racer but . . . overcoming adversity, that is a nice thing to believe in). There friendship and/ or support has deepened my my loyalty. But then their own needs and or ambitions aren’t mine so when they start taking advantage of my loyalty, I don’t see it right away. They still support me, as long as I do not stop them or get in their way of achieving their dreams. Some are still good friends but I have had to evaluate my own lack of clarity in seeing these people or institutions. In my own quest to do right, be a good friend, a good employee, a fan, I trust that the stories I hear are not true. Pretty soon, though, you realize that there might be some truth since I have been hearing this or that from so many varied sources.
Some of my friends are still good friends; I am still loyal but I know they are watching out for themselves first; that their ambitions will come first, just as my ambitions/goals are important to me. However, I chose not to use people is a throw-away manner to achieve my goals. I want bridges, friends, opportunities to afford more than my success. I am only here a short while; I do not want to be overwhelmed by lies, distrust, hatred, and instead recognize we all have our own paths. If I realize that my fierce loyalty is sometimes blind; I also realize that sometimes my own goals might seem that way to someone else. And so each day, I work on being kinder, gentler, compassionate, and thankful.
If I don’t win something, I hope whomever does, wants it as much as I thought I did, but more importantly thanks those who helped them succeed. That I remember humility in the strictest sense of humbleness not embarrassment. That I remember gratitude and sincerity. That I remember to be fiercely loyal to myself. (And accept the good that bicyclist did for fighting disease not fighting other competitors as dishonest and more honest than he.)