Price of Loyalty Shouldn't be Social Ill

Jan 7 , 2022
By Kidist Yidnekachew

I am often accused of taking sides with the underdog. Perhaps I feel they deserve it as not many people side with them. At the same time, for as long as I can remember, I have taken sides with strangers instead of family members. They would be mad at me and question my loyalty to them. But it is a way of making them see the other side from the other person’s perspective. This is not always the case, though. I would like to believe I often side with the truth or aspire to even though I do not always succeed.

This is one example. Last month in a taxi, there were two people sitting in front of me. They were conversing with the driver; I figured they knew each other based on their conversation. We reached a route where many cars were in queue and the lane was narrow. The cars were queuing on one side of the road waiting.

In typical fashion, our taxi came from behind and moved forward, ignorant to the long queue and even got the audacity to honk to make the other cars make way for him. A driver inside another car pulled the window down and spoke to our driver.

“We have been standing here for minutes. Don’t you think we could have cut lines like you? We could have done that but we chose not too out of morality,” he said.

The taxi driver nodded but without any trace of remorse. That was not what got me angry. The two people sitting at front were siding with him as if what he did was right.

“Why won’t the car next to you let you in?” one of them said. “One more car won’t make a difference.”  The lady next to him added, “is that a woman in the car? She should give in and let you pass.”

The taxi driver agreed, “It’s not my fault I saw an empty lane and I took it.”

He did not realise or perhaps ignored the fact that the lane was empty because all the cars decided to stand in line on one side of the lane but the driver drove past them. It is an insult.

The two people took the side of the driver even with the knowledge that what he did was wrong. This is what is wrong with our times. Perhaps it has always been a problem: siding with people that are wrong simply to be perceived as loyal.

Loyalty should not be to side with someone even when they are wrong. It is standing by them and showing them the right way, and being with them regardless of the consequences of their actions. But pretending like they are right or, worse, telling them they are right when they are wrong is being blind to the truth.

I chose not to say anything because I did not want the situation to blow up. The whole thing made me realise humanity’s selfishness. We are the only ones who have urgent matters to take care of and as long as we are inside the car that cuts the line, it is all good. When the tables are turned and we are the ones in the car that is getting cut, we get furious.

When does the hypocrisy end? When do we stand up for the truth regardless of who said it and not side with wrongdoers regardless of their affiliations to us?

Little do we know we are reinforcing the social ill that will eventually be perpetrated against us. It takes courage to stand up to the truth, even against friends and family, to make the communities we live in a better place.

PUBLISHED ON Jan 07,2022 [ VOL 22 , NO 1132]

Kidist Yidnekachew is interested in art, human nature and behaviour. She has studied psychology, journalism and communications and can be reached at (

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