TONI THORNE: Loyalty, ‘fire-rage’ not same
LOYALTY IS DEFINED as “the strong feeling of support or allegiance”.
I have found that many people fail to understand the concept of loyalty. For many of us, loyalty is tied to opportunity where once someone’s perceived purpose in our lives has been fulfilled, all allegiance stops. In Barbados, we like to use the term “picking up fire-rage” as an extension of the concept of loyalty.
The concepts of loyalty and picking up fire-rage are touchy subjects. I learnt early on that it is not anyone else’s responsibility to fight my battles. A strong warrior can take on any fight on her own.
Look at David. He walked down that hill on his own to battle with Goliath. There are so many instances when we believe that our associates must pick up our fire-rage. Granted, if you do something insufferable to one of my loved ones, I cannot in good faith smile up in your face or comment under your pictures with “you are so gorgeous” comments. Bad behaviour should never be rewarded.
That said, we have to be very careful for whom and when we are picking up fire-rage. Don’t be that friend that rants and raves. One of the most disappointing feelings is having someone’s back in a situation that is not fully known to you.
I guess that’s why most people prefer to keep their heads down and not carry another’s torch. Such people like to operate under the notion “not my monkeys, not my business”. There are so many instances on social media when I see people being “dragged to the heavens” (urban slang for heavily criticised) and often wonder if they have friends.
Here are some instances when we can pick up fire-rage:
1) Someone has done something insufferable to your partner, children or close family member. I take the stand that if someone is an enemy of one of my parents, I might be cordial but we cannot be friends.
Constructive criticism is one thing but quite a few people have been blocked and deleted from my Facebook for unnecessary attacks. Secondly, any adult who is so heartless as to commit any awful act against a child is not worth any form of pleasantries.
2) Someone has wronged your close friend.
Taking up fire-rage for friends is not as automatic as with family. With family, you are allowed one “wrong but strong” pass. With friends, one must do a thorough investigation filled with questions such as: “Why would that person react in this way?” I have been close to persons who I do not even speak to now who I have taken up fire-rage for and vice versa.
3) On principle.
Two years ago, a close friend and I parked outside someone’s home for six hours until he came home. He had refused to pass off property which I had previously paid for and I was livid beyond belief. We had a very heated conversation but nonetheless came to a resolution.
Upon leaving I asked my friend why she decided to come with me. She, after all, had seen my hysteria and not only pleaded with her acquaintance but guided me to his home. She is by no means a confrontational person. The issue had nothing to do with her and she is by no means a gossip-monger that she was craving this “showdown drama”. Her response was simply that given our friendship and on principle, she could not support her acquaintance’s actions. In her words: “Today he is doing this to you. Who will he do it to tomorrow?”
We live in such a strange society that the concepts of fire-rage and loyalty are so often misconstrued. Recently, I had a friend question someone’s loyalty to her and whilst my beau’s response to her was: “Don’t take yourself so seriously”, I simply made light of the situation and asked: “Don’t you just love when the garbage takes out itself?”
It is always good to feel supported in situations where you have been treated badly. However, nothing trumps the feeling of having your own back.
Toni Thorne is a young entrepreneur and World Economic Forum Global Shaper who loves global youth culture, a great debate and living in paradise. Email: [email protected]