Obedience is doing as you are told regardless of your opinion on the subject. This perhaps is needed to a degree in childhood for the limited purpose of learning. The learner needs to pay attention and follow instructions. Other than this limited function though, obedience is damaging. There is no exchange of ideas. You have surrendered your will and are not responsible for your actions. Why apply your mind or else express your opinion when the right answer or approach is predetermined and is that of one in authority?

Besides that, after the person has amassed all this learning, he needs to take the next step – to free himself from knowledge that does not corroborate with his experience. Only then can the individual live without conflict. But most of us get stuck and live our lives in the safety net of traditions and societal rules, untrue to ourselves, and consequently there is always an element of denial and humiliation.

And nor are we encouraged to take the next step, to question. There is comfort and reassurance in power and moreover the illusion of love and respect. When in truth obedience is about habit and training, or not wanting to be seen as someone that is bad or ungrateful, and about fear of loss or of dire consequence. We must make the distinction between love and respect and obedience. There is no emotion of love for instance at the moment when you are acquiescing contrary to your way of thinking and feelings.

Moreover, obedience in fact takes a toll on relationships. There is for instance a constant tension in the air. On the other hand where there is love you enjoy merely the presence of the other. For love to blossom you have got to remove fear. In that case obedience can be a willful expression of affection. Or you might say – “I love you and I respect you but I feel otherwise and am not going to this”.

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