For the longest time, I’ve been a Samsung guy when it comes to Android smartphone choice.
I never really had brand loyalty before when it came to phones – I’d simply use what I needed at the time, which resulted in me switching between Nokia, BlackBerry, Motorola, and more.
Then I got a Samsung S3, and I was hooked, and stuck with that brand for years.
Recently, my phone died, and – since I was now on a new network that wasn’t restricted to phones or service contracts – I decided to look around a bit.
My research brought me to the ASUS ZenFone 4 and, after a bit more research, I decided to take the plunge – and I’m so glad I did.
The phone is everything a high-end phone should be but at half the price. I felt a sucker for sticking with Samsung for so long.
Last night, I went to see the new Justice League movie. Typically, I’ve stayed away from the DC Universe of movies, as I’m pretty much a Marvel guy through and through.
Add to the fact that director Zack Snyder has made more than a few turkeys recently, and early reviews were scathing, I wasn’t expecting much.
Man, was I wrong – this movie is fantastic! Great story, wonderful ensemble cast with excellent chemistry, and a neat weaving of today’s climate – racism, isolationism, despair – into the bigger superhero story arc.
Simply put, this was what the Avengers: Civil War movies lacked, and it felt like a true team up on-screen.
Again, had I let brand loyalty sway my decision, I would have missed out on one of the best movies of this year (as far as action/superhero movies go).
Loyalty Is Worthy, But It Needs to Be For The Right Reasons
In a way, brand loyalty is much like personal loyalty. We find someone, or something, to offer loyalty to, and we lose focus because of what blind loyalty can instil.
I recall, many years ago, being in a relationship where it was clearly over. There were so many warning signs that I either didn’t see, or chose not to.
So, we stayed together, and it was awful. Have you ever tried to excuse something that’s wrong because you want it to be right?
- Even though all your friends are telling you it’s wrong?
- Even though your family fear for your health?
- Even though your other half sees the effect your loyalty is having on you and so reinforces the wrong-as-right?
If you have, you know the devastating effect it can have, both short-term and long.
You know the sinkhole isn’t getting any better, because you refuse to fill it in with logic, sense, and clarity.
Until you finally break, and the recovery from that takes even more strength, and you miss out on the things that could have been so much more to you.
This is true for work as well as love, friendship as well as family.
We make our own bonds, but sometimes we use the wrong kind of glue.
All in the name of loyalty.
Be Loyal to You
I watched a friend literally die from loyalty many moons ago. He was an ex-junkie, and was with the wrong people at a time in his life he could ill-afford to be.
Personal tragedy had left him vulnerable and, although we tried to help, his loyalty was with those who had been around him at his darker times in his previous life.
His dealer became his confidant. His loyal friend. His go-to shoulder.
Of course, my friend couldn’t see that this loyalty was only proffered when it came attached to money for solutions to the pain.
Whether he ever realized that, I’ll never know. His loyalty went with him to his early grave.
Loyalty… is…. difficult. So many things vying for it, so many things to get wrong.
Because there is something inherently good about loyalty – after all, who doesn’t want to be the one that others count on and never let down? – it makes it easier to screw up.
And that’s okay, because none of us are perfect. Hell, I continue to hurt those I love even when I try and make it the last thing I’d ever do.
Because pain comes with loyalty. But if pain can come from loyalty, so can softness. And repair. And love. And acceptance.
Especially when we realize that being loyal to ourselves will reflect the loyalty we both give and receive.
It may not cure bad choices through misplaced loyalty overnight – but at least it’s a start.