Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The contemplative lifestyle



Autumn's gloriousness is softening, slowly of course because that's how the seasons proceed in the American mid-Atlantic. Some of the leaves have fallen; the ones that remain on the trees, though still colorful, are no longer vivid. The land is settling very steadily into the monochromatics of winter.

It's a nice, not too chilly, rainy day in DC, a great day to clean the chateau, cook something soupy or stewy, listen to music, kick back and ponder. Oh yeah!

Today I'll be contemplating the idea of loyalty, a philosophical quagmire to be sure. A quick google of the word brings up old ideas about loyalty, and more modern thoughts, too. Philosophers differ in their takes on the phenomena. They even argue about the objects of loyalty. Whoa. For a free spirit such as myself (i.e. commitment-phobe), I'm way more loyal in many cases than you might expect, indeed far more than is warranted sometimes. What's the difference between commitment and loyalty, do any of you know?

Putting on my thinking cap. Shalom.

12 comments:

ellen abbott said...

good question. the thesaurus lists them as synonyms.

Reya Mellicker said...

I think there's a distinction. The rain falls and I ponder.

glnroz said...

loyalty, to me, seems more attached with feeling and commitment is following a path of rules set by ourselves or others with agreement. reckon? lol

Cyndy said...

Commitment seems to come about for me as a by-product of loyalty. I think I feel the same way about it as ginroz. Commitment-related resentment occasionally crops up for me but I don't think that ever happens with pure loyalty. Loyalty is deeper than commitment. Does that make any sense?

I love the way the reflection of the branches sprawls all over the roof of that car in the top photo!

Reya Mellicker said...

On a wavelength with you two, apparently! I was thinking commitment is head-centered, loyalty is heart-centered.

Thanks for your thoughts!

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks, Cyndy. I really love that picture.

Dan Gurney said...

I'm with you Reya about the body aspect of these two words: loyalty is centered in the heart. Commitment more in the head. Perhaps, too, there's a geographic/bloodline aspect. I tend to feel loyalty to those nearest to me in space and/or blood (family) and commitment to those further from me.

willow said...

Dark and deliciously rainy here. Commitment and loyalty? Tell us. Do.

Reya Mellicker said...

Dan that's very interesting. Proximity always has an impact. Cool. Thanks.

steven said...

reya my own sense of the distinction is that commitment has something about it that acknowledges a condition of being "in relation with" that is free of need or expectation. something that escapes or at least is defined by terms not of this world. relationships between people can do this - for a while. musicians can arrive at this sometimes.
my own sense of loyalty is that it is entirely to do with the terms of this world. there is an expectation that the perceived "debt" of your concession will be repaid. something will accrue to the betterment of your personal state if you are loyal.
now. where does "faithful" fit into all of this?
steven

Reya Mellicker said...

Beats me. Faithful ... hmmmm

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