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What is loyalty, what makes you loyal, how to express loyalty? [iAskJO] ما هو الإنتماء؟

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13 May 2011 22:26 |

"What is loyalty? What makes you loyal to a country, team, brand, person or entity? How do you practically express or interpret your loyalty?" is the latest question that has been asked on iAskJo Jordan questionnaire, a series of direct questions for all to take part. And here I am listing the answers that have been submitted by various people, next to my own thoughts below.

Rani Dababneh, Jordanoholic.com
What is loyalty? What makes you loyal to a country, team, brand, person or entity?
Loyalty, for me, is a mutual, continuous and progressive relationship in which you feel attached, comfortable, belonging and willing to fully sacrifice for an entity that is providing you with something you need, believe in, or of interest to you, so you want to appreciate it by giving back faith, trust, attention and care.
This general concept almost applies on various loyalty types. i.e. I belong to Jordan because I have been living my life in here, not because my dad is originally from Jordan, this has nothing to do with my loyalty or preferences - I belong to the country I'm spending my life in, so beside having all of my good and bad memories in here, Jordan is also enriching my loyalty by providing major fundamental factors as safety, general justice, comfortable environment and culture, beside a great platform for individuals to succeed, hence as a combination of all that reasons above I feel super loyal. If Jordan is not providing a basic factor then it wont be loyal to me, if I don't maintain and develop the country, then I wont be loyal to Jordan. It's a mutual relation, that needs to be enriched and sustained in order for both parties to sacrifice for each others. One thing is different for being loyal to countries is that you sacrifice more without waiting for any personal award or benefit.
Same goes for a team or person, who share the same ideology or act as a role model. Or even brands or products that satisfy your need, you would be loyal to a brand that has been providing you with great experience, so you will sacrifice having couple of bugs for a while, but not so many as you will feel that the brand is not being loyal to you anymore so your loyalty level will also drop gradually.

How do you practically express or interpret your loyalty?
For countries, I practically express loyalty by working hard in order to satisfy the needs of the country I'm being loyal for, to work hard to develop my self as an individual who forms a family, society and a country at the end of the day. I try to treat blind patriotism and blind opposition, Then I try to develop, maintain and reform the community in rational, positive and constructive manners in order to give back and appreciate the platform that country is providing, besides spreading positive thoughts, being honest and faithful, preventing favoritism, maintaining streets and public properties, and most of all being committed and devoted to the country without expecting any awards. For a team or a person I would show it by support or practically converting the thoughts shared, and for products or brands I would buy more and spread my positive feedback.

Samantha Khalil, 25, founder of The Palestinian Readers Project
Loyalty is devotion to a country, team, brand, business, person.. etc. Loyalty comes from the sense of belonging & fitting in a country, a team, or entity. In order to gain your people, clients, friends, lovers loyalty & devotion you must make them feel welcome, secure, appreciated, loved, and needed. My loyalty to Jordan has been tested for about two years now. I was born in the USA, raised in Palestine by a Jordanian mother "originally from Jerusalem" and a Palestinian originated father who lived almost all his life in Jordan. I moved back to the USA when I was 17 for college. My parents moved back to Jordan at the same time because my mother was evacuated from Palestine by Israel for not being Palestinian "was not approved for لم الشمل". I moved back to Jordan at the end of 2009 and by law "فك الأرتباط" lost my Jordanian citizenship and was considered not loyal to Jordan. Back then I could not disagree with their decision after all I never lived in Jordan so how can I be loyal? Now after living here for almost 2 years I developed loyalty to Jordan and I am ready to defend my loyalty. I am loyal not because my mother and father hold a Jordanian citizenship and are considered loyal by law, but because I work and live here, I have friends here, I feel welcome here, I belong here, & I definitely feel  secure here. My loyalty to Jordan does not affect my loyalty to Palestine nor does my loyalty to Palestine affect my loyalty to Jordan. The fact that I lived in the USA does not affect my loyalty as well. My devotion and love to both countries come from the love I have for the people, the culture, the weather, the cities, the villages, the camps, the food, the language..etc.
So I got a question to ask: Can one be loyal to a broad range of things, or is it only possible for loyalty to be to one thing?!

Jim Wright, 55, Teacher of English as a Foreign Language, Amman
The eleventh edition of Encyclopedia Britannica defines loyalty as "allegiance to the sovereign or established government of one's country" and traces the word to the 15th century, noting that it originally referred to fidelity in service, in love, or to an oath one has made. Prophet Jesus instructed loyalty to one’s leaders when he said "render unto Cesar the things that are Cesar’s and unto God the things that are God's". In the mid-twentieth century views of loyalty changed somewhat and loyalty became an interpersonal relationship. An example would be loyalty to family, a country or a team. The objects of loyalty could also encompass principles, causes, ideals, religions, nations, parties; virtually anything or anyone to which one’s heart may become attached or devoted. Whereas loyalty to one’s country of birth was once a given, that fact no longer exists. That, at least, is my own experience.
Living in a country, being taught that you must be loyal to that country whether it is right or wrong can have the effect of suffocating loyalty. The object of one’s loyalty must return something to the subject of that loyalty. When the object abuses or denigrates the subject, loyalty may falter and eventually fail. This is especially true with families, countries (governments) or friends. When your country is seen as the Mother or Father figure of the population with all the duties that entails, one feels a natural affinity and kinship with the country of his birth or residence. That loyalty will lead one to fight and even die in the defense of the country willingly and gladly in order to maintain the balance of the civilization brought about by the rulers. Citizens willingly pay taxes to ensure the country maintains a firm footing in the world community. This loyalty to the King, country and government is really no different than the feelings of loyalty one has for his family and friends. Loyalty can be rather fragile though. A subject will tolerate many indignities and injuries inflicted by the object of his loyalty simply because of the love and fealty he feels. He will suffer them because he expects to see better days ahead. Even if he finds the “better days” to be further in the future than he might like, he will continue to support and demonstrate his loyalty in myriad ways on a daily basis. This is particularly true when the subject is able to see tangible evidence that efforts are being made to improve any given situation. However, that loyalty can be tested beyond what it can endure when nothing is being returned by the object of loyalty. The circle must continue or loyalty can die. When abuse is heaped upon abuse day after month after year after decade the strain of loyalty becomes more than can be borne. When the object demonstrates abject disregard for the common good in preference to a favored class the subject begins to question the legitimacy of his own loyalty.
The result of such questioning is often the separation of the subject from the object of his loyalties. He may decide his loyalties have been misplaced and divorce himself from his country or his family or both. When this occurs one will often see that the subject will demonstrate an exaggerated sense of loyalty to his newly adopted country. You may find him at the forefront of reform movements such as we have seen in Jordan over the past few months. He may spend time attempting to move others to protect the environment. Ultimately, he will feel frustration because his peers do not feel the enthusiam he feels. Loyalty is demonstrated by a willingness to make an investment or personal sacrifice to strengthen the relationship between the subject and object of that loyalty. When those investments and sacrifices are seen as a part of a “bigger picture” they are made more willingly and loyalty is deepened further. The subject must feel he has a stake in the progress of the realm. When the object of loyalty shows the subject he matters to the country and his sacrifices are not unnoticed it has a ripple effect on the community in which he lives. He will not waste any opportunity to recruit and encourage his neighbors and friends to support and make similar sacrifices to ensure stability, security and happiness abide in the country.

Sereen Abu Shiekhah, 23, Project Coordinator, Amman
What is Loyalty? Loyalty is being totally devoted or faithful to a person, country, organization, etc... What makes me go loyal for a certain something? I'll give my answer by explaining why/how I would be loyal to each of the following: - Person: I would be loyal to a person based on my relationship with him/her; their personality; their views and how they think; how much connection we have. - Organization: To feel appreciated, empowered, feel a sense of flexibility, rewards, etc..., gives an employee satisfaction and enthusiasm which builds their loyalty towards their organization. The employees loyalty will encourage customers to also feel loyal and enthusiastic about this certain organization, provided that the product or service meets and satisfies the customers wants and needs. - Team: You like how they play, you have faith in them and you would cheer them on regardless how many times they win or lose. - Country: Being loyal to a country can be expressed in several ways. Some people are loyal in terms of serving their country by joining the military army and expressing their loyalty to their nation, its flag and the purpose they serve for. Others, typically the majority, are loyal to a country by loving it, not causing harm to it by any means and are proud to be citizens and sacrifice what they can to keep their country proud. How do I practically express my loyalty? As i mentioned above, there are several ways to express loyalty practically to something, after deciding that this thing or person is worthwhile being loyal to. As a summary, loyalty is basically the willingness to make an investment or a personal sacrifice to strengthen or even build a relationship.

Lara Omari
Without the hate and envy which a website called ijbed gives voice to. It is a slanderous website which needs eradicatation if we are ever going on the positive not the narrow minded self serving individuals who think they are making change by instiiling hate. Online forums need to be decent in the very least.

Alaa Obeidat الانتماء ليس صفة يا صديقي بل هو شعور يرتفع ويهبط,فعندما تشعر ان كرامتك محفوظة وحقوقك مصانة وطموحك مشروع وحريتك حق مكفول وان القانون سيد على الجميع يرتفع هذا الشعور الى اقصى حد ولكن عندما تشعر بالاغتراب وعدم توفر اعلاه فيهبط الشعور لادنى مستوياته وذلك يفسر جانبا من السلبية عند البعض. طبعا الولاء للوطن وليس الاشخاص ولا الرموز. والوطن اكبر منا جميعا واكبر من كل الرموز والاشخاص كائنا من كانوا. اما كيف ان تعبر عمليا فهذا سؤال يحتاج الى مجلدات ولكن ساحاول بلغتي المتواضعة .. عندما تمتنع عن رمي عقب سيجارة في الشارع لانه ملكك .. وعندما ترفض الرشوة لانه واجبك .. وعندما تدمع عينيك عند رؤية العلم الاردني او ارض المطار في رحلة عودتك .. عندما ترفض الواسطة لانك لا تحتاجها

Kholod Saleh العمل الجاد و المخلص بدون مجاملات كاذبة ,, وكلنا فداك يا اردنا الغالي

Abdulhadi Alburaik الحب لالملك و الارض و الشعب و العمل بذلك

Murad Bader هو انت تحاول جاهدا ان تكون شخصا افضل ويكون لك التاثير على غيرك ليكون هو بدوره شخص افضل ونعطي بالنهاية الصورة الافضل لوطن افضل ومستقبل افضل لك ولمن بعدك ,كن انت المستقبل و كن قدوة المستقبل

Wessam Azem اكيد مش بمسيرات. الانتماء انو نكون ايد وحده ضد العدوان والفتنه وانو نكون قنوعين باللي عندنا مو نستنى واحد يدفعلنا فلوس على شان نعمل ضاهره ضد الاردن. الانتماء انو اي واحد بدو يخرب البلد نكون كلنا ضدو ما نوقف معو

Jordan Lion المشكلة انه لو ما طلعوا الناس بمسيرات التاييد والولاء كان الجزيرة صورت الامر وكانه كل الاردنيين مع اصحاب المسيرات المشبوهة فكانت مسيرات الولاء رسالة لاكثر من جهة اولها المعارضه اللي كانت مفكرة سكوت الناس تاييد الهم ولما شافو انهم ما بمثلو الا انفسهم صاروا يتهموا الموالين بانهم بلطجية يعني من متى كان الاخوان المسلمين ديمقراطيين وهو لم يغيروا احد من قياداتهم الا اذا مات

ليث حجازين 27, محلل تسويق, الأردن
الإنتماء هو حب الوطن والشعب، وببلش من إبسط الأمور وأولها ما تكب زباله بالشارع مثلاً بعدين الأشياء الكبيره

رولا, 28, معلمة, الأردن, السلط
كلمة انتماء تعني الإحساس بحب الوطن و الرغبة في الدفاع عنه و الانتماء إليه مهما حدث ومهما كان، والتضحية من اجله. الانتماء للوطن هو أن نربى أبناءنا على حب الوطن وهو التعرف على تاريخه، وعلى حضارته و المساهمة في بناء مستقبله. الانتماء للوطن يسري في الدم والروح منذ الولادة وحتى الموت.. ولا يقبل الموت الا تحت تراب هذا الوطن

عمر المطر, 19, طالب جامعي
الانتماء هو الاعتراف بارتباطك الأبدي لوطنك, والطريقة الوحيدة لتطبيق الانتماء هي بعمل ما عليك, اذا كنت طالب فأدرس, اذا كنت موظف فاعمل, وزير, أي شيء, فقط استمر بالقيام بعملك على أتم وجه.
اذا نزل كل الشعب الأردني الى الشوارع ورقصو واحتفلو, فليستمر هذا بضعة أيام وسيتوقف الوطن عن العمل لأن الوطن هو أولاً وأخيراً شعب, فاذا توقف الشعب عن العمل فسيتوقف الوطن, الانتماء ليس بالأغاني والرقصص والشعارات المبهرجة’ الانتماء هو ايمان, وقناعة , وعمل , عمل, ثم عمل

ما هو الإنتماء؟ ما الذي يجعلك تنتمي لدوله، فريق، شخص أو شيء؟ كيف تعبر إو تطبق انتمائك عملياً؟

How about you? Have your say too through the comment box below.

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Author Profile: Rani Dababneh | راني دبابنه

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What is loyalty, what makes you loyal, how to express loyalty? [iAskJO] ما هو الإنتماء؟

+1 #6
Omar Bani Hani 29 May 2011
شكراً لإعطائي شرف أن يتم عرض رسالتي هنا, ^w^
+1 #5
Lara Nassar 18 May 2011
after reading all or lets say most of the comments and the actual written article from rani, i would like to say a couple of things:

1) i LOVE the way @facade alfasad thought about the written post. i love it because it gets me thinking about how human beings act, think and break down thoughts .. its interesting.
as a person who read it, from outside the box, i must agree with main issues.. the meaning of loyalty can be defined like Rani said, and yet that definition might be so conservative in the sense.

loyalty has sections, nationalism is one of them. but my question to both of you is..

Is nationalism, blind faith? Is loyalty blind faith? Blind in the same sense religion is?

In religion, you beleive in something solely because your religious book said so, no proof, no evidence and certainly no "physical" explanation, but you still keep your faith and your loyalty to that specific religion..

what about loyalty to a country? what about NATIONALISM? should a person be loyal to a country SOLELY because he was born in it? got educated in it (keep in mind i mean education as in a private school which you paid for)... should you be loyal to it because your a good citizen, you pay your taxes and you are employed? and heres the QUESTION.. should you be loyal to it, because nothing bad has happened to you? because you where born with this identity?

i would like to hear both of your comments, and i would like to say,

That i think nationalism is something you should have before and after something bad happens to you in a country.. you as a person are part of a BIGGER NATION.. hence nationalism.. you belong to this big thing, nth is perfect, some nations more than others, but nationalism is the combination of keeping those benefits you get from your nation and trying to perfect them or making them better or CREATE THEM..
thats nationalism. NOT blind faith.. YOU NEED TO WORK FOR IT.. and TO KEEP IT
+1 #4
Facade alfasad 14 May 2011
I'm not really sure what loyalty is, but I guess the most important thing is for one to be loyal to himself his mind and conscience before anything else.

More broadly we should be talking about Nationalism rather than loyalty, Nationalim could mean loyalty to the Nation state you live in, for various reasons. Cultural geography relating to people, history & even as a result of propaganda. Point is your loyal then to the borders of this nation & everything in it.

But there are different kinds of loyalty, at work you are loyal to your boss, u might feel u will learn something from him. Maybe ur loyal to him because he pays ur salary & maybe because u think hes doing the best, or all these combined. Point is loyalty doesnt occur suddenly, its not a phenomenon, there are reasons for its existence and explanations. There are also reason for the lack of it.

Nationalism on the otherhand as a form of loyalty to your country, might not be subject to changes easily. Some might measure it on what your country does for you, examples many Arabs are loyal to Sweden because as citizens there they get all sorts of benefits. In other cases some might measure Nationalism solely on what you do for your country. Maybe a mix of both. Point is nationalism is extremely flexible & subject to different interpretations. Kind of like religion. But as god is in a religion, a Nation doesnt do any mistakes only people do, that is why loyalty to a nation is less likely to be flawed as loyalty to a person or even a system of people is.

People make mistakes, Nations dont, unless you feel you benefit from loyalty or the appearance of it, you wont be loyal to a person or a system of people.

Which brings me to my question, should a poor person in Jordan be loyal to the state. Surely we cant question his loyalty for the nation because he is the majority of the Nation.
0 #3
Rani Dababneh 14 May 2011
@Facade AlFasad I'm sorry you totally missed my point. What I'm implying above is that it's combination of everything, not only those you quoted in your comment, you took one sentence and left others hence you missed the big picture unfortunately. So again I belong to Jordan because I've been living most of my life in here (which comes 1st), I belong to the place that I was raised in, got educated and found good opportunities with a platform to succeed, beside the factors that you quoted which come afterwards enriching everyone's loyalty! Loyalty is built then enriched to sustain forever.

I tried above to go in a series of thoughts, starting with a general concept for loyalty then finding customizations among loyalty to countries, teams, products and entities.

How about you share your answers too for the asked questions? :)

@Deema22 I totally agree :]
+2 #2
Facade alfasad 14 May 2011
Summariing what you said is that you have loyalty because of a feeling of "safety, general justice, comfortable evniornment and culture, besides a platform to succeed". Indirectly your saying that if you don't have these things, which you said were the reasons for your loyalty, then its alright not to be loyal.

If most Jordanians dont feel economically stable, when they go to court they dont feel that our judiciary system is just. More importantly if they feel their culture has been threatened their environment has been destroyed. They shouldn't have loyalty. Let me redefine loyalty then because by your definition anyone who doesnt have this feeling wont be loyal thereby he is an "unloyal person". But loyalty to what exactly? That is what you should have answered before explaining why you are loyal.

I agree with your reason for loyalty, I dont agree that this is what defines loyalty to a country. What if you have a bad goverment that doesnt provide this to you, does that mean your not loyal to it, or to the country itself.

If your a teen in a refugee camp would/should you be loyal by your explanation of what loyalty is.
+2 #1
Deema22 13 May 2011
Loyalty to ones country is by devotion, hard work and respect. For me I love everything in my country Jordan and I'm so proud of all our achievements
I was born, educated, lived all my life in Jordan. My kids are Jordanians we are all Jordanians by heart and soul
Gob bless our country our people, our beloved young king and our beautiful smart queen.
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