I was raise to respect authority. There was a strong message that authority is God’s way of talking to us, and that if I were to listen to what the people in charge of me I would be following God’s will.
I believed it, like you do when you’re a kid. I maybe believed it more than other kids might have. I had friends who would sneak and do what suited them, but I was convinced that I would be better off somehow—happier or more blessed—by staying obedient.
Then of course there was the hellfire.
But I believed in the carrot, not the stick. It was about loving God to stay inside the confines of what I was told to do.
I did break free, I did learn to disbelieve in the direct line of continuity of God through human authority figures.
In reality, I still give in to this temptation in a thousand ways.
“I’m just obeying orders.”
“Well, he probably knows something I don’t”
“He’s the boss.”
It’s easy to cower and stay put. Mice are very good at that, and look how well they’re doing.
One place I am not at all willing to cower and delay about is for my daughter. If I see she needs something and someone else disagrees, then we disagree.
When she was three, I made a mistake of taking someone else’s advice. She was getting ready to do her preschool Christmas carol show, and I was fawning and fussing over her outfit. She was crying because she was nervous.
She was so little! Her teacher shooed me out, telling me she would stop crying as soon as I left.
My baby girl got up on stage and Full on Sobbed her way through the performance. The Show Must Go On, even though she was overcome.
I was past overcome. I should never have listened to that teacher! I knew what my daughter needed, and it really WAS me.
If I can know it for my daughter, I can know it for me too. There’s always somebody ready to tell me that they have a better way.
One Weird Tip
5 Things to Never Do Again
The voices of “I know better than you” are proliferating.
I wasn’t put on this earth to be like anybody else. I’d kind of like to believe that all my dreams would come true if I just followed one weird tip. Or that I could lay down the burden of uncertainty and responsibility by handing over my life to someone else.
It feels easy to give up like that.
But it’s not what I want. And even if I make a mess of it and make other people uncomfortable, I am the one who does me the best.
I can do me.
Like a boss.