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The Life of Loyalty

Loyalty.

One simple word can be applied to a handful of occasions, situations, and instances in life. The word itself appears in the tiniest of circumstances yet at the same time can carry the burden of a person's world.

Loyalty can be applied to family. They are blood. They are the lifeline of existence. Through thick and thin, one will do for family. In most cases it is a loyalty to uphold the beliefs of the people that have been present in your life from the beginning.

That same loyalty can spread to close friends and members of your inner circle. Many of the same trials and tribulations can be applied to these close friends. Battles have been fought and won with these friends. Trenches have been dug, disagreements have been had, and success has been achieved. These long time and close friends are a backbone of a life created. People may not always agree, the friends may not agree, but loyalty is a credo that will last until the very end.

Loyalty is seen through love and carried out with a significant other. The same rules apply as previously mentioned. It may be a treacherous, difficult road but in the end, loyalty will lie down in traffic and do whatever it takes to soothe, care for, defend, and provide for a lover or significant other.

Loyalty can be seen in a company, from employee to employer and back again. From the office to a sports field, the loyal person garners more respect for sticking it out; for not jumping ship at the first sign of weakness or failure. The loyal person will battle and often, in the end, will see the fruition of their labor and loyalty be rewarded with success.

Loyalty can be a tough road to navigate. Morals can get in the way. Life can get in the way. Loyalty is all part of the unwritten code of life. A loyalty to someone or something can lead down a bad road or lead to a rewarding life or in some cases, both. Loyalties are not always going to lead to the ultimate success, but loyalty should be valued as a high priority in life.

Right and wrong decisions are going to occur especially when loyalty draws a line in the sand. No matter what side of the coin a person lands on, loyalty is a driving factor in the choices one makes. That even means being loyal to oneself and living a life that measures up to the standards you've created during your existence.

Loyalty is friendship. Loyalty is love. Loyalty is doing something for someone, even if that person has done you wrong in some way. The shared experiences of the past can help put aside differences for only the briefest of moments. Loyalty to the past can turn a foe into a friend for even the tiniest flashes of time.

Loyalty. The word can be better described at the end of the series finale of Justified. Creator Graham Yost (with the aid of story originator Elmore Leonard) and his team of writers ended the series with dialogue that is sticking with me. Words that bring loyalty to the forefront without even mentioning the word.

In brief, Raylan (Timothy Olyphant) has come to prison to deliver some news to Boyd (Walton Goggins). The two grew up together and have been on opposite sides of the law for the six seasons of run of the series. Though Raylan is ultimately lying about the news he delivered to Boyd, the scene is so good and powerful that one forgets that Raylan is lying. Boyd asks why Raylan came all this way to tell him the news in person.

"I suppose if I allow myself to be sentimental, despite all that's occurred, there's one thing I wander back to."

"We dug coal together."

"That's right."

Four words sum it up perfectly. "We dug coal together."

Loyalty. It sticks with you. One way or another.

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