Editorial: Loyalty

Loyalty is an interesting concept. The dictionary defines it as “faithful adherence to a sovereign, government, leader, cause, etc.” In its truest form perhaps – but we see examples of it every day throughout our community. It is one of those strings or pieces of yarn that make up the ever changing, evolving fabric of our community.

In our community loyalty comes in many forms. There is the loyalty our elected officials have to our community. It propels them to self-sacrifice and give their time in the hopes of improving our community. The same can be said for the men and women serving in our police and fire departments as well as GEMS. They all take an oath of loyalty – so it is easy to see.

We see it in ourselves when we look at our marriages and relationships. We are often unfailingly loyal. Loyalty is not a gray area – it is black and white. You are either loyal to someone or you are not. But with that loyalty comes responsibility. There is an old expression: “Loyalty means I am with you whether you are right or wrong, but I will tell you when you are wrong and help you get it right.” These are the types of friendships and relationship we find most valuable, most rewarding.

Throughout town you can see acts of loyalty every day. When someone who is not from Greenwich says something negative about our community, we can think of many people that take it personally. We have a very close friend who loves his home. It is truly a very beautiful home. When he speaks of his home as she, always “she,” he does so with a grace and calm that the home instills in him. He is loyal to his home because his home has been loyal to him and has protected his family for nearly 50 years. Loyalty comes in many different forms.

The Greenwich Sentinel is all about our loyalty to our community. Who starts a community newspaper unless you have an overabundance of community? We are extremely loyal and proud of our community – all of it from Byram to Old Greenwich. We want to see it flourish, grow, and thrive. We came to the realization a few months ago that every issue of the paper is a “buy local” promotion. We are constantly encouraging you, our readers, to support local businesses, organizations, and events. When you do so our entire community benefits.

Not all loyalty, however, should be blind. You can be loyal, disagree, and still remain loyal. It is how you disagree that is important. Renown journalist Edward R. Murrow once said “We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it.” He is right. There will always be a “loyal opposition.” It is human nature. It allows for a proper system of checks and balances which provides just that – balance.

It is when the opposition goes too far and tries to forcefully impose its beliefs on others that we all suffer. When one group tries through bullying and manipulation to change the opinions of the other then our community is harmed. Venomous speech does not endear and is not loyal opposition.

Eric Felten has written a book on loyalty: Loyalty: The Vexing Virtue. In it he writes “If loyalty is, and always has been, perceived as obsolete, why do we continue to praise it? Because loyalty is essential to the most basic things that make life livable. Without loyalty there can be no love. Without loyalty there can be no family. Without loyalty there can be no friendship. Without loyalty there can be no commitment to community or country. And without those things, there can be no society.”

We choose loyalty to you and to our community.

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