I support several local coffee shops and businesses, all of which provide a loyalty card, like, buy nine and get one free. Works well for me as well as for them. I guess I’m loyal for tenth cup, or the tenth treatment, or the tenth product, whatever it is, I’m going the distance. In this I’m simply buying loyalty. My loyalty is predicated on that tenth gain. So what does that say about being loyal? Not much! I’m only as loyal as the promise of the tenth free item or coffee. I’m depending on their honesty, if you like, their loyalty to me. It can’t be one way. And loyalty is only ever between parties, often two, but sometimes more, but never just oneself.
Trouble is, loyalty sounds like the standard behavour of the family dog, a sort of committed fondness come what may, unthinking, based only on the simple gains or loving care in a platonic sort of way. But I seek more. I demand integrity. Loyalty seems more surface, more about transaction. Integrity goes to your very core, it doesn’t seek fidelity because there might be something in the relationship, integrity is about being true to who you really are rather than wearing a mask, or being surface, or being in it for the gain, the promise of the tenth thing free. I like my tenth cofee free, but from you I need more than bait, I need you and all of you.