True Friends are loyal

March 30, 2010
By Michael Finch SILVER, Park City, Utah
Michael Finch SILVER, Park City, Utah
6 articles 0 photos 0 comments

True, Loyal Friendship: The Golden Gift

“The game is my wife. It demands loyalty and responsibility, and it gives me back fulfillment and peace.” (Jordan) When Michael Jordan spoke these words, the world had to pause in order to comprehend their impact. What he meant is that he had to prioritize the game of professional basketball to the level of first place in his life; he was that loyal, and it is that loyalty that made him the basketball phenom whom everybody knows and admires. This puts the ultimate meaning of the word “loyalty” in its proper perspective because if a person ascribes the word to another individual, (for example: “a loyal customer,” or “a loyal fan”), the implications are positive. There is one description of loyalty, however, that far surpasses any other. It is when “loyal” defines friendship, for this attribute is rare and sterling. One can see this idea play out in a variety of everyday genres: literature, film, history, and even in daily lives. It is clear: True friends are loyal.

One of the most powerful examples of loyalty being displayed in true friendship occurs when Frank and Joe, Charlie’s former “enemies,” (though he didn’t realize it at first), stood up for him when he came back to work at the factory. Charlie had lost most of his intelligence by that time, and was desperate to earn a living so that he could support himself. The reader knows that Charlie dreaded coming back, and so he had expected the worst. What Charlie didn’t understand, however, is that Frank and Joe had also changed. Charlie’s ordeal had had an important impact on each of them, and so when a new worker, who hadn’t been part of the whole story, came up to Charlie to torment him (as Frank and Joe had done once upon a time), Frank tells Charlie, “Charlie, if anybody bothers you or tries to take advantage, you call me or Joe, and we will set ‘em straight.” (Keyes 224) Charlie experiences for the first time the golden gift of loyalty.

This Loyalty is represented another way by S. E. Hinton in her fine classic novel The Outsiders. The situation is this: Darry, Sodapop and Ponyboy are brothers whose parents are dead. It is up to Darry, the eldest of the three, to raise his two younger siblings…at the expense of his own future. Most of their friends wrongly suppose the younger two have an easy, rule-less life. Not so, as evidenced by the following conversation with Ponyboy (the youngest of the three) and their friend Two-Bit.

Two-Bit: you’d think you could get away with murder living with your big brother and all, but Darry’s stricter with you than your folks were, ain’t he?

Ponyboy: yeah…but they’d raised two boys before me, and Darry hasn’t. (Hinton 111)

Later, Ponyboy further reflects, “I had known it for a long time. In spite of not having much money, the only reason Darry couldn’t be a soc was us… Me and Soda. Darry was too smart to be a greaser.” (Hinton) Darry exemplifies the highest form of friendship and loyalty: self-sacrifice. Nothing is more valuable.

Again, this powerful “loyalty” theme is represented, this time, in Disney’s animated movie Finding Nemo. The movie may be for children, but its themes are powerful, applicable to the human condition, and long lasting. The situation is this: young clownfish Nemo, has gotten separated from his over-protective dad Marlin, and he has landed in his fish tank of a dentist! Enter the crazy bluefish Dori, although she is forgetful and has other “issues,” she is immensely loyal to her newfound friend Marlin, and together, they are successful in finding the lost Nemo. Marlin tells her gratefully, “dori…if it hadn’t have been for you, I’d have never made it here.” (Finding Nemo) It’s a classic sign of friendship and loyalty.

Probably the most important illustration of this powerful loyal friendship is when it is shown in our own lives. I remember a time in my friendship is when it is shown in our own lives. I remember a time in my life that stands out as a clear picture of loyalty and friendship. Here’s the situation: my brother and I had been standing at a movie theatre waiting for both of our friends, when our friends are supposed to split up when our friends got there, well my friend misunderstood and did not come to the place where we were meeting. When my brother's friend came they waited with me for my friend. Well we waited for about a half of an hour and they never came. So when my friend never showed my brother and his friend invited me to come with them. That made me feel really good and it made my day a lot better and I had a really good time with them. I really learned from this experience that fake friends won’t ever be loyal as true friends are to me.

Friendship. Loyalty. These two potent words. For as simple as they are to understand, they are uncommon in the human experience. I think of the disaster at Columbine High School and the journals of Eric, Harris, and Dylan Klebold that investigators later found. Both of these boys yearned to be free of bullying and harassment that were a regular part of their daily lives. Neither had experienced the welcoming hand of friendship by those like you and me, who had it within their power to extend. I wonder how life in Columbine, Colorado might be different even today…had someone taken the risk to welcome Eric or Dylan to have it within our power to make the world a more friendly place if we are willing to step away from our comfort zones. Although to take such actions makes us better people, there is an extended benefit of which we may never have proof. By showing simple loyalty and friendship to others…even if they don’t seem to deserve it…we may be making the world, not only kinder, but safer.

Works Cited 4 Nov 2008


Finding Nemo. Dir. Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich. Perf. Albert

Brooks, Ellen DeGenres, Alexender Gould. DVD. Disney,


Hinton, S.E.. The outsiders. 2nd Ed. USA: Viking Press, 1967

Jordan, Michael. Simpson’s Contemporary Quotations. 1988.

Bartleby. 4 Nov 2008


Keyes, Daniel. “Flowers for Algernon.” Literature: Timeless Voices,

Timeless Themes. Comp. Jacobs, Lederer, Sorensen. Upper

Saddleback River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2000.

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