Here’s one of the main problems I have always had with authority:
Should I question it?
And if I were to expand that, I would add, should I view myself as inferior to authority.
Let;s start with the highest authority in my life, God Himself.
The Bible tells us to talk to God as we would to our father, or our friend, which is pretty humble on God’s part, and surprisingly hard for us to do. If we believe in God at all, then it’s daunting for most adults to think about addressing Him, especially as a friend. That’s why religious jargon is so common in all types of religions.
Just because I can talk to God as my (almost) equal does not make Him my equal. That’s the truth. But God has no interest in creating distance between us and Himself, so He allows for that equal kind of communication.
Language, by the way, is the best equalizer between people, especially for those in authority, we’ve all known the frustration of someone talking over our heads and then talking down to us in a condescending way.
God’s authoriyt is untouchable, so clearly He is my superioer. I hav eno problem with that, He doesn’t rub it in.
But any other authorities in my life are going to be human. Since I dont’ belive Animals to be above me, and the Bible says that even angels are not higher in authority. (Make what you will of that, it’s a whole other post.)
And the problem with humans is that they make frequent mistakes.
Knowing this, and being by nature a bit of a smart alec, I have always been unsure about authoiryt. I didn’t wonder aobut it when I was very young and would call my teachers out on inconcistities in whtat they wee saying when held up agaisnt my NLT Bible. And yes, hat was in Sunday School (I’m not giving you non church goers much confidence in the institution am I? It’s really not so bad as that, I’ve been to much more accurate churches since then.)
When I was under some family friends instruction, this attidtude I had became a problem. I’m sharing this becuase I figure I’m not the only one.
And it’s important even for people in authority to think about this because I’ve had my teachers be just as confused as me over the nature of our relationship.
My Youth Group Leader used to tell me not to answer every single question, because the other kids wouldn’t even try since they knew I’d answer. I thought maybe he had a point, so I attempted to hold back. (It wasn’t fair though, because in youth they ask you “who knows…?” and it would be dishonest not to raise my hand, wouldn’t it? It’s a honest question, right?)
“Someone other than (insert my name)?” My leader would ask despairingly as the rest of the group looked blankly at them.
Nope. Only me.
I began to get really frustrated with this. Often the leader didn’t know the answer either. Until they looked it up. If I knew, why couldn’t I say?
Why did I have to play dumb for the sake of everyone else?
This came up when those family friend’s tried to teach me also. Whenever I caught on, I would be impatient and interrupt them. Which bugged them. Sometimes I jokingly said “Not the way we do it,” when referring to a lesson that compared to a household function (like cooking.)
I shouldn’t have been rude, but at the time I had no inkling that my jokes were being perceived as disrespectful. I just wanted to be funny.
And that’s when it came up again, my teachers, or just adults in general, seemed to think I owed them greater consideration just because they were older than me. I didn’t have the same freedom with them as I did with my family.
And if they did something wrong, I had to be careful about saying so. Often, I couldn’t say so without offending them.
Once I talked to a whole group of adults about how stupid I thought their arguement with this other group had been. I thought, (and my dad hadn encouraged me in this)that I had as much right as anyone to point this out; but they ended up very offended over it.
Looking back, I think I was right. It was stupid. And I also think a kid has just as much right to point that out as anyone else, sometimes kids are the only ones without an agenda.
I now know that that stuff doesn’t fly with many people. I would say one of the main reasons is, we (because I am an adult now) are insecure.
I’ve caught myself getting annoyed with kids for doing the same things I used to do, and I feel guilty, because I know the kids are right. And I’m wrong. But I don’t want to admit that to them because I don’t have to.
And there’s the rub. People prefer not to admit they are wrong anyway, but most of us who are healthy will admit it to our peers and our superiors, but precious few will admit it to kids. Because kids can’t make us do it.
Kids would, if they could, they are pretty straightforward about their sense of justice. Bless their hearts. IF they had control, we’d all be more honest…and probably in more danger. I am not suggesting we always give in to kids and their sense of right and wrong, kids are apt to be one sided too.
But I do think we need to remember that as far as morality goes, kids are often superior to us. They may lack the social skills we’ve invented in order to not offend each other when we notice something’s wrong, kids don’t have that, they can chafe our hide with their bluntness; but they’re still right.
And adults who are like kids in this respect are usually disliked by many people for their blunt honesty, the wise know they should be listened to.
I don’t know where I fall in this category anymore. I’ve bitten my tongue for many years, and only now are people starting to encourage me to un-bite it. I’m finding some people can accept my more difficult qualities.
But people like me, and I know you bloggers are like this or you wouldn’t use the freedom of the internet to express ideas you have no audience for in your social circles, we aren’t encouraged a lot in this world.
So, here’s to all of you who blurt out the truth and step on toes and challenge authority, and can’t seem to help it, there is a reason we desperately need you.
Until next time–Natasha.