The Daily Post word-of-the-day is Loyal , which is defined as faithful to one’s friends, family, country, ideals, etc. It is giving or showing firm and constant support and allegiance to a person, an institution, etc. The definition says nothing about worth of either the loyalist or the “loyalee.” It is possible for a person to be loyal to a real stinker.
Leeches and other parasites are loyal. A leech will faithfully attach itself to a host to the point of killing it. That’s loyalty for you. However, can one really blame leeches for behaving the way that nature made them? Do leeches have a choice in their blood-sucking ways? No, the poor things have to keep doing what they do because they don’t know any better.
Humans, however, should know better, but some of them act as if they don’t. C. S. Lewis wrote:
“She’s the sort of woman who lives for others—you can always tell the others by their hunted expression.” The Screwtape Letters
That being said, I am all for loyalty. I am a loyal person myself. But I pay a price for it. My loyalty demands that I exercise critical thinking and value objectivity over sentimentality. It means I must be willing to change my mind about to whom or what I am loyal. I think, in the long run, that blind, underserved loyalty eventually sucks the life out its object, just like a leech.
I say “no” to leechery. It’s not fit for human consumption.
(Note to self: In Jane Austen’s book Sanditon, one of the characters fancies herself ill and has a treatment of leeches. It is odd to associate Jane Austen’s world with leeches and blood-letting, but there it is. I wonder if Mr. Darcy was ever “leeched” when no one was writing about him.)