The Problem with Authority

As I was working outside this evening I saw a group of girls pass by on their bikes. It reminded me of a memory of when I was in 6th grade. A friend and I were bumming around the streets of our mobile home park one afternoon. I don’t remember anything particular that we were doing, just hanging out as so many kids do on the streets of a trailer park. Being outside because life inside the trailer is usually tougher.

My friend’s dad came home from work and stopped to talk to her. I can not remember what was said, or how the conversation was exchanged, but I do remember the end of it. He told ME what to do. I back talked in some form or fashion. He left.

My friend told me later that her dad said that I was on “his list”.

What? I didn’t know what that was.

“You’re on his shit list.”

Well, I didn’t know what that meant. But I found out. He didn’t like me. He didn’t like that I didn’t follow his orders. He didn’t like that I had a different opinion that he. He didn’t appreciate my attitude.

I think I’ve made a lot of people’s “lists”.

I’ve really never thought about it too much, but something my husband said to me the other day sticks out in my mind. He said, “You just don’t like people telling you what to do.”

“Is that a bad thing?”, I replied.

“No. It just makes you who you are.”

Which, ladies and gentlemen, confirmed the fact that I married the perfect person for me 😉

It’s true. I don’t like anyone telling me what to do. Especially when that person has “authority” over me. Authority does not educate. It does not protect. It does not comfort. It controls.

Well… I don’t like people telling me what to do. I don’t like people trying to control me. Why? Because..

I need education. I need protection. I need comfort. I need the things that I didn’t have growing up. My parents were divorced and remarried and we were moving to Wyoming from Arkansas the summer before I turned 9 years old. Abby is the same age now as I was then.

My father was gone. My mother was there, but I can’t really say that she was present. She was busy keeping us alive and working nonstop to pay the bills. The siblings were 4, 5, and 7 years older than me. I remember being alone, a lot.

I remember finding things out for myself. A lot.

I remember mowing the yard and digging out the snow and changing my flat tires on the side of the road. I remember teaching myself how to bake, how to shave my legs, how to wear makeup. I remember teaching myself how to check the oil and change the windshield wipers. My momma taught me how to drive and how to love unconditionally. My momma is my hero, don’t get me wrong. She did what she could, but there was a lot to do.

I have no room in my life for the controllers. You were not there for me when I needed you to be there. You were not there for me when I didn’t know what I was doing. You were not there for me when I had room for you to be there.

You were not there for me.

So I became the controller. I became the leader. I saw the void in my life and I filled it with myself.

And it gets me in trouble.

It got me in trouble in high school. I mouthed off at my science teacher one too many times. I was pulled into the hallway and told if she could give me a trophy for the rudest student in the school, she would give it to me.

It got me in trouble in college. I walked out of a rehearsal when I disagreed with how the director was treating the music majors. We had a huge argument in his office. It cost me one year of school because I failed to take a major exam the next day.

Yes, it gets me in trouble with my husband. We learned that very early in the relationship, and still we work on it. Luckily, he is as hard-headed as I am.

I butted heads with people in my career for a good 5 years nonstop. Someone who wanted CONTROL over me and I refused to give it. I refused to sit back and be a sheep. To follow blindly and ignorantly. That is not who I am. It is so very hard for me to be controlled. I see things being done that I know are wrong. I see things I know that I could do a better job at doing.. and I want to do it. I am the leader. I am the one that gets things done when there is no one to do them. I am the controller.

I AM the authority in my life.

But there is a problem with that, too. Because as I stated before, authority does not educate. It does not protect. It does not comfort. And these are the things that I need.

All the traits that are good and right and make me who I am… get me in trouble sometimes. But sometimes they save me. It is a lesson I am learning, when to know the difference. What battles to fight, what battles to lose.

It’s okay to do both. I’m learning. Please have patience with me, I’ll have patience with you.

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3 Responses to The Problem with Authority

  1. I am a teacher of some 37 years. What you see as CONTROL in your teachers is a lack of discipline that you and other students need in order to learn. Your CONTROL is LEARNING THE HARD WAY when you could have been listening and striving to learn with a good attitude. How much time you could have saved by not “talking back – being respectful, listening, etc.” Yes, you took CONTROL and have obviously turned out ok. You are fortunate to have a mate that loves and understands “your CONTROL” sometimes better known as being “hard headed – stubborn or as some would say ‘OUT OF CONTROL TO TODAYS’ standards. How sad it is that you have wasted so much time in an effort to be in CONTROL when you could have learned so much more by LISTENING – BEING RESPECTFUL. As Einstein stated; ‘WISDOM BEGINS WITH SILENCE” God Bless

    • blessmyheart says:

      I understand where you are coming from, but I do not agree that being “quiet and respectful” is the end all. Not all leaders are good leaders. My theory professor once told me a golden nugget of truth. “Some people are here on Earth to teach you what to do. The rest are to teach you what NOT to do.”

  2. Rachal Copeland-Harris says:

    I love opening my email and seeing a new post from bless my heart! Your words are always encouraging and heartfelt. Keep it up girl, you’re touching people’s lives, weather you know it or not!!!

    Lots of love,

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