He’s Wrong! Very, very wrong!

Sometime the HoH is wrong.

OK.

I get it.

Wrong

Wrong (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let’s add insult to injury:  the HoH  punishes you.

Now what?

Is it over? Does he/she turn in their badge?

Or do you let them keep it while feeling secretly superior?

Here’s the thing:  Authority comes from somewhere.  (I want to say up front this is not meant to be the seminal discourse on authority.  I’m not going to look up definitions.  This is me, thinking out loud.) (Maybe my nose was in a corner at the time.)

Some of us are either born with an innate air of authority or we develop it. But even that kind of authority has to be recognized before the Innately Gifted One can effectively use his/her  authority.  You can wander around feeling authoritative but it won’t don’t you any good if no one recognizes it.

We recognize authority, we bow down to it, submit, because we have to.

For one reason or another.

Norse marauders were acknowledged as authority because they had huge swords and could kick your ass.

http://gustavomalek.tumblr.com/post/28917531915/mount-blade-viking

Ms. Monroe, your first grade teacher, was recognized because another authority figure–your mom– told you that not only could Ms. Monroe kick your butt, but Mom would do it again when you got home.

Maybe you grew to really like Ms. Monroe because she didn’t make fun of you for crying when your mom left and you wanted to please her. At that moment. wanting her approval also gave her authority.

Maybe Ms. Monroe had a look that turned your stomach upside down and made you want to run screaming after your mother. Your fear was an instinctive recognition to her authority, and your powerlessness,  as well as the authority the school–and much more important in those years–your mother–gave the wicked witch.

Maybe Ms. Monroe was a total idiot who spent her day tweeting.  You followed whatever rules she enforced because of the authority she wielded.

At times, Ms Monroe was wrong!

She thought you stuck the pencil in Jeremy’s nose.  Bobbie did.

You cried. You argued. You- -whatever.

You didn’t get to say “I’m transferring to another class.”

OK. Maybe Ms. Monroe was a total sadistic meanie and your parents did have you moved.  That’s because some other authority interceded on your behalf.  NOT because you snatched up your Power Rangers lunchbox and left the room.

Maybe Ms. Monroe really was sadistic and talked all the kids into calling one poor kid horrible names.  You didn’t like it.  You wouldn’t do it.  Ms. Monroe kept you in from recess. She told the other kids to call you terrible names.  She told the other kids they had extra homework and it was your fault.  You stood strong and refused to knuckle under despite all hell breaking over your head.

You had your own internal authority you decided was the boss of you, not Ms. Monroe,nor even your Mom if she took Monroe’s side.

By the way, this means you’re a courageous moral human and I’d like to be your friend.  I also wish you’d run for office, but I understand why you wouldn’t want to.

I’ve had a lot of fun with Ms. Monroe and could go on, but you get my point.

And there is an abundance of figures in our lives we acknowledge as authority for one reason or another. Religious.  Law Officers. Government. Bosses. Pushy friends. Parents. Forces of nature. Culture. And for whatever reason we give the authority, we often have in our minds an idea we could refuse to submit if we chose.

We quit our job.

We say goodbye to a friend.

We move to another country.

We live in the woods in a bunker in —a less heavily populated state.

But most of us-

those of us with working emotional intelligence that allows us to be productive and happy,

do not snatch authority away the second we don’t like what the authority is doing.

And depending on the tolerance of the authority we don’t hurl abuse, throw china, jut our chin, cock our hip, stick out our tongue and say: make me.

When I was 18 a State Patrolman pulled me over. I was having too good of a time in a sports car. He suggested while the weather was clear and the road basically empty, I shouldn’t continue to travel at speeds upwards of 80 mph.

I nodded politely.

And when I pulled back on the road -because I’d had a fight with my boyfriend, a lousy day at work,  hated school, despised my parents and had no idea what to do with my life,  I deliberately accelerated to the limits that baby could go.

That baby- was the pride of  my friend Brian’s Voc Ed Auto Mechanics Class.

( I stole this picture from :http://artofmanliness.com/2010/01/06/45-manly-hobbies)

Sticking my tongue out that time cost me $300 dollars. And that was in 1978, folks– when $300 was not easy to come by.

I was an ass.

I got a lot smarter.

I told you- I hardly even think the word asshole anymore.

9 thoughts on “He’s Wrong! Very, very wrong!

  1. Geez. I started to reply, and I am wrtiing a freakin’ post here in your comments. You got me thinking and I have too much to say. I’m going to go start my own post! Nicely done! 🙂

    Sara

  2. I know one thing. Taking the “I’ll accept this but oh…you’ll pay” road lands me in hot water and ends up in double burns. They will be wrong and when they are and later realize it, I think most of them work pretty hard to make amends.

    Those other times–the intent is still right. I’ve had to adopt the “I’ve been spanked before. I’ll be spanked again” attitude from time to time, but not over anything very serious. I do wonder how I’ll respond the first time that happens.

    Nice post Saoirse! I’ve been thinking some about authority too. I’ll go ponder in my dreams…

  3. I’m finding this very difficult, and the more I think about it, the more difficult it gets. Because it seems to me there are two types of authority. One type, the official ‘if you go 35mph in a 30mph zone you WILL get docked points off your license and you WILL pay a £60 fine – well, it doesn’t really matter how hard I argue with the policeman, I know that will happen, and in fact, if I argue, I will probably get breathalised as well. In other words, the law is written in granite and there’s not a thing I can do about it.

    But another scenario such as a boss who pulls me up about something I am innocent of, perhaps because he is having a bad day and I happen to say or do something just to tip him over the edge; or a teacher who hauls me over the coals for some misdemeanour I am perceived to have committed, when in fact it was someone else; or a husband who chews me out before really listening to what I have to say in my defence; well, let’s just say I grow horns and a tail.

    I could give you several examples that fit with the above paragraph. In some cases the people are now some of the best friends I have ever had, because at some point down the line they realised they were using their authority without THOUGHT and CONSIDERATION of all the facts. We were able to discuss the problem at a later date, without anger or recrimination, and come to an agreement. Usually lots of apologies all around.

    But I have to admit to there having been instances in my life when I have simply, quietly and sadly walked away. If you really feel in your heart that you are right about something, and the other person feels the same, it can lead to impasse. And sadly there are instances when I haven’t felt able to extend a hand. And I think about those instances a great deal, even after years have gone by.

    But what do you do? Integrity is integrity. My past has caused me to always want to please. And that isn’t always possible; it’s false. And yet if I insist on being truthful (as in one instance when I had a run in with my immediate superior at a school I was once HOD in) it can go belly up. I walked away. I decided a job just wasn’t worth all the stress and unhappiness it was giving me. I left, took another job, and became very happy. BUT – three years after that I faced my DEMON and we both realised that the cause of such grief was a simple misunderstanding on both sides. We are now VERY close friends.

    All I can say is, that having held senior positions, it takes BALLS to admit that you are wrong sometimes. We always hope we are up to that, but we are all human. And if I were perfect, then I wouldn’t be here now, typing this, because I would be a ‘little angel’!

    But if my HOH wouldn’t listen to my point of view, and hot-tailed me regardless, and then said nonchalantly that he must have been wrong, but what the heck? Well, let’s just say that I’m not sufficiently submissive enough to let that go. And unless there was some very good ‘talking’ there could be some ‘walking’.

    (You know Saoirse, you’ve stirred up a lot of emotion in me here. This is like an argument with myself. I don’t know how this happened. Sara is right about ending up writing a lot! Sorry. I now feel I don’t truthfully know what my reaction would be. Possibly like in your book?!)

    Many hugs for getting me thinking,

    Ami

    • Thanks for coming by and thinking, Ami. I wrote lightheartedly about a subject that is actually a very intense one. I too have walked away-there is often a very big price tag to acting according to our ethics and morals. I appreciate the company of others who have paid the price-and there is always the little girl inside me who expects to be patted on the head instead of punished for doing the right thing. I agree completely-it takes a great person to say: I was wrong. I also know that learning to say it is the most freeing thing I ever learned. I’d like to think anyone who has been given the gift of the title of HoH will always take the view of the submissive-right or wrong –seriously and with respect. Earning and keeping the title takes hard work!
      Saoirse

  4. Pingback: How We Have Changed TTWD…Our Kind of DD | Finding Sara

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