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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Checking your authority

Don't do this. 
Don't do that. 

Some of us fail to see the unchecked authority all around us. Authority is something we are all socially conditioned to respect and to admire. We are indoctrinated into a system where we obey and appreciate figures of authority more than ourselves and our peers. What makes authority legitimate? Can authority be valuable towards someone other than yourself? If you are an enforcer of authority, does that mean you have more power than the enforcee? 

Authority in its true form is an illusion. Someone can claim authority over others and back it up by a collective of people that believe the same authority. So authority is inherently dependent on people that believe in it and choose to obey it. A person who believes in authority decides to ignore his or her personal autonomy and self ownership in order to follow a benign sense of purpose or a means to an end. The enforcer of authority is propped up by faith and promises for a better and more secure tomorrow. 

Authority not only exists in government and organizations, but also within common human interactions and relationships. You may find that you have been guilty of being authoritative in nature to get what you want. The first step is shining awareness of the unchecked authority in your life. Has anyone ever told you to do something even if you're an adult? It could be a parent, family member, a friend or even a romantic partner. 

People that use authority are people that want to use power to get what they want. Now, it is important that we distinguish that heirarchial structures within jobs are somewhat of a necessity when using authority. When you enter a job, you are most likely going to have bosses and supervisors. People within the job will use their title and power to enforce rules for all people that fit the mold. The first step is accepting what system has worked for each organization or workspace. It does not mean that you can't question it. People with higher job titles may hop onto a power trip. They will use their title as a way to talk to you as if you are less than them or ignorant of what they know. Letting a job get to your head is a cold and deep plunge into unconsciousness. 

This is where checking your authority and other peoples authority comes into place. How does one try to shed the light on inadequacy of identity with authority with another person without becoming confrontational? The main purpose to illustrate is that you and the other person are on the same level even if there is the illusion of a higher status or fallacious attachment of age and experience. 

When a person tells you to do something, what do you do? 
Is it how they tell you to do that? 
Do they ask politely? 
Do they greet you as if you are a conscious human being? 

Does raising your voice add legitimacy to what you are saying? 
Does applying aggression to your orders make your orders any more valuable? 
Does thinking you know better or assuming you know better than someone give you an incentive to control or order someone around? 
Does guilt tripping or offering an ultimatum make your case and more valuable? 

Cooperation dissolves the myth of authority. Individuals working together while knowing each other's strengths and weaknesses yield great results. Cooperation allows growth within working together while fostering the strengths and skills of each individual. No need to bark orders or to assert power. Most importantly cooperation works best when all members are mindful of the programmed behaviors of others. 

One must continually question authority in order to grow and flourish in life scenarios. One must question each judgment they have of others and look at it. Taking responsibility is the first step in not reliving past unchecked authoritarian behaviors. The growth will start from the inside and influence and flourish into the outside world. Letting go of the need to control will let you learn more things about yourself that you thought you may have never known. You will see the ugly, the irrational and the callous. You will see the compassionate, the articulate and the patient. It takes present and awareness to break down the internal conditioning of the illusory necessity for authority. 

Taking responsibility and not blaming will help shine the light on what needs to be done. It is your responsibility to check your own authority. It is your will to make that happen in order to inform others of the inadequacies of barking orders or using manipulative manners to get what you want. The resilience of self ownership  holds an assertive unmovable flame to the unconscious. 

Don't tell them what to do and you'll find out that what they need to do in the first place will present itself clearly and organically. 


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