I must admit I watch a lot of television. What can I say, it was the babysitter for my brother and me as children of the ‘50’s and 60’s. So commercials for a particular brand of laundry detergent, furniture polish or car, all are things I had no money to buy, made me feel like I was sitting around with old friends talking about familiar acquaintances. I often urged my mother to buy a particular brand totally unaware of the expensive. I’ve even noticed today children recognize the golden arches or would rather have popcorn out of a sealed brightly colored package rather than the zip-lock bag their mother has filled with the same kernels but bought in an economic size.
So I was wondering what parts of our lives carry brand loyalty. What makes us loyal to a particular soap, sugary snack, or car? I think it’s probably the promises made by the promoters of the items, no matter how extravagant. No more facial wrinkles, finding the right life partner, the sensual you’ll feel when driving a certain car. Under-loved young men living in under-served communities are lured into gangs through the promise of brotherhood; the assurance of someone “having their back.”
Our current social structure has sold us an illusion of what relationships offer. What relationships demand your loyalty; husband, wife, mother, child, sister, brother, devoted friend? It’s easy to wear the brand but when the promise of the relationship is less than we expected, we sometimes look for other brands promising guarantees. Oftem being loyal to a relationship puts us in an uncomfortable position – it may challenge our popularity with others. So then we have to ask ourselves, “What is more important? Standing with my friend or desiring the approval of others.” Supporting a sibling when they veer down, what we perceive as the wrong road is an act of non-judgmental love and the assurance of “having their back”.