Why Won’t People Obey Me?

2 May

Last night, I was at an orientation for parents of upcoming kindergarten students at Emily’s new school. There were definitely some interesting parts to the whole evening, but the part that made the impact on me was when they were talking about how little kids struggle to follow the rules. Of course, as she was saying this, she artfully pointed out that many of us were not following the rules.

I have a strange relationship with rules. When I am asked to follow them, I immediately have a reaction of not wanting to do so. This is certainly not the proper reaction to have, but I don’t feel as though I am alone. After all, one of the things I learned in the meeting last night is that many children entering kindergarten don’t obey, nor do they like to obey, rules. So, I am approximately on par with many five year olds!

I guess the real point is that while I am readily aware of my own depraved reaction to rules, I figured that as long as I abided by the rules in the end, it was at least acceptable behavior. Those who are now worrying about my soul aside, I do believe there is value in following rules with the wrong attitude. And I guess the reason is because I finally reached a point in my life where I get to set a rule or two, and most of the time all I want is for people to do what I ask (their souls notwithstanding).

In my day, I have had many jobs. I’ve had so many different jobs that it leads people to ask me if I am making some of those jobs up. While I certainly wish some of them were completely made up, I’ve had a weird array of things I’ve done. Having said that, never was I able to question my superior in their choice of music, radio, silence, noise, or anything of the same essence in my day as a low-level employee. If the boss wanted to listen to gangster rap, I was stuck with it and hopeful that a less irritating rant came across the radio dial every now and again.

In my day, the guy who signed my paycheck made up all the rules about where to park, where I could put my chair, whom I could have visit me, if I was allowed to go on break, or just any other demeaning question an inmate would ask a warden, I was required to ask. Though we would complain about him behind his back, we generally did as he requested.

I guess I am just shocked at the brazen-ness with which people neglect to listen to their boss, teacher, parent, or whoever it may be. I have been informed that there are many people who have authority similar to Rapunzel in the movie Tangled, where the authority is non-charitable in it overbearing-nature or just improperly asserted. Nevertheless, I think employees, in general, should be better. I think citizens, in general, should be more supportive. I think people, in general, should be more reverent.

As I read in Colossians 3, I am reminded, that ultimately, we serve the Lord in everything we do. The guy who signs the paycheck may be the earthly person to whom we answer, but ultimately, he is not our real boss. And, when we finally achieve the boss level, three verses later, we are reminded that we also have a Master in heaven.

So, yes, there is no excuse for the lack of compliance and general laziness in workers, but if you are reading this to post around the water cooler of your work, where all the people mock you (as I originally wanted to do), then maybe you need to remember that the best way to get anyone to follow you is to model that obedience to your own Master. And it probably would help us to be less worried about our worker changing the station to same lame alternative station, instead of the 24-hours of Matt West on loop station.

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One Response to “Why Won’t People Obey Me?”

  1. Jenni April 28, 2013 at 10:16 pm #

    I know that in high school, it was difficult for me to bend to the authority that your now-wife held in her own vehicle, listening to that country music. 🙂

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