Friday, January 3, 2014

On Rejecting Parental Authority

A discussion with a like minded friend uncovered a prejudice I have. I don't know if I was quite so aware of it but I can look back and see it effecting the relationships I have formed. 

Growing up I rejected the societal notion of rejecting parental advice. It seemed so silly to ignore good, well intended advice for the ability to carve my own path without help. Especially when there was logical reasoning behind the advice. The rule follower in me clung to this advice like it was a lifesaver in the middle of a vast ocean. I had zero desire to reject my parent's advice. They got me miles farther ahead of my peers who I didn't really want to associate with anyways. I had cars, a home, a good job, stability, friends, and fun. All thanks to following parental advice. I took very seriously the biblical command, "Honor thy father and thy mother" and did my best to show gratitude. It did not chafe me to do so. 

The discussion I had with my friend was on an acquaintance we both had. Neither of us really bonded with her as we had with each other. After talking for a bit I realized what was missing was a common bond of not rebelling from parental authority. This aquaintance talked with pride about how rebellious she had been and still is. She spoke of putting herself in such risky and dangerous situations that it was most uncomfortable to listen to her stories. She was a deeply religious person and shared her faith readily but she lacked something I still cannot pinpoint. In a way, I was irritated with her lack of strength to reject what society tells kids is normal. To me, she was a weak willed person for casting off good advice meant only to help her that came from a trusted source. A deeper friendship seems so impossible when she pushes me back with her prideful talks of something I could never relate to. 

This realization colors my world. It's going to take time to process it but it will be interesting to see where this perspective takes me. 

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