Tuesday, June 01, 2010

A matter of loyalty

Source: http://www.traileraddict.com/content/inferno-distribution/hachiko.jpg
It is not hard to make a connection between the words 'loyalty' and 'dog'. From a young age, we are socialised in a manner whereby almost every other 'story with a moral value' included a 'loyal dog' for a pet. Even in the Chinese language, they have proverbs and adages that includes dogs watching over the house. In English, you'd have watchdogs. A watchcat would just sound plan weird. Cannot really imagine a cat doing that job, anyway.

Previously warned by friends that the movie would make me shed bucketloads of tears, I prepared a hanky. During a time I should be preparing for sleep, I instead opted to watch the whole movie under the warmth of my quilt on my lovely bed. Thank goodness I have enough pillows because for some reason, I need pillows when I cry - two to lean on, one to hug.

Perhaps I heeded a little too close to the warnings, I ended up feeling that okay, it was sad but it was not THAT sad. I was emotional during two scenes and yes, I had streams of tears flowing down my cheeks but otherwise, I was fine.

The story (and if you have watched the movie or Googled it, you would know) revolves around a dog named Hachiko. Hachiko, or 'The Eighth One', comes from a breed of Akita dogs and if you ask me, they have rather 'Asian' features. Hachiko was the pet of a professor, which routinely waited for his master at the train station every day. It was like a ritual, a special welcome home bonding time, which they both specially shared. The remarkable part of this true story is the part where Hachiko continued to wait for his master, not realising that his master who failed to return to the station had died in the university ten years before. So yes, Hachiko's patience, perseverance and I guess, loyalty, spanned ten years.

I was roped into thinking about this issue of loyalty again when a friend of mine became emotional over a love lost. Although it has been two years, he still feels the pain of losing her even with the slightest of provocations. He considers himself a loyal guy. But is that really loyalty when you put into the equation the part where you cannot stand the sight of her better dressed and seemingly leading a better life without you? Or is it simply just you not able to put down the past and move on with your own life?

On a different note, what about partners who relocate? Say your girlfriend accepted the offer to work for a leading airlines and would have to relocate to their country of operations. She would be there for five years and would come back to see you as often as possible. Both of you make the commitment to be with each other. So what are you to do when you find out that yes, she is still 'with' you but over there, she is also 'with' someone else? Did she break her promise? Or what if she is still with you but she is no longer in love with you?

Some would argue that loyalty is manifested in different forms. I agree. So maybe my form of loyalty may differ from yours but that does not mean that either of us are neither right nor wrong. Just different.

For me, it is simple. I stand by the people who have brought me thus far in life. I do not need to love them and agree to their engineering. I only need to be there for them, to provide them the support in the form they require.

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