Me and Authority

        My mother once said that I was anti-authoritarian. That is not strictly true. It might sometimes appear that I disregard authority, but in reality, I don't. And I have good reasons why I tend to disregard things like badges on people's chests or fancy certificates on people's walls.
         In my book, everyone I meet is "innocent until proven guilty". Everyone is inherently good, like starting with a 100% for a class at the beginning of the term. What I experience about you either keeps you at that 100%, brings you up, or brings you down. Some things that you can do (being selfless, for example) bring you up in my eyes, while others (close-mindedness, for example) drop you down. Other information about a person, such as reputation - which includes any authority a person has - is regarded as almost extraneous. If the reputation is from a trustworthy source, the information is taken into account. However, reputation or authority don't have nearly as much clout as what I experience of that person with my own eyes, but it has a little bit of bearing.
        If there's one way you can really get on my bad side, it's by uttering the words "because I say so". Few things are more irritating in this world than somebody enforcing something that doesn't have a good reason for being there. I can understand ignoring a rule, for example, that isn't useful or necessary, but actively enforcing such a rule is something I abhor. I refuse to follow (or at least like) rules that are there just because somebody puts them there. All rules and regulations need a solid logical backing, or some kind of morality that I can agree with. If that kind of support is lacking, congratulations, you've lost respect with me for enforcing such a rule.
        I understand that reviewing and revising rules that someone points out to be arbitrary is annoying. People hate to face their flaws and change them, it's only human. But if you put a rule in place, it's your responsibility to make sure that rule is up-to-date. If you're not willing to better your law system, if you find it easier to let outdated rules lie than change them because it's too much work, that is despicable. You're fleeing responsibility as a ruler. Because of your laziness, people are suffering under outdated laws.
         Now, if I ask someone why I have to follow a given rule and they say "just do it", how I react depends on how I know the person is feeling. If they're obviously harassed and has twenty other things to do, I'm not going to judge or bother them. Maybe they're just busy and don't have time for an explanation. In that case, I'll either a) try to figure out why that rule should be followed, or b) ask them later. But if they're perfectly peaceful and content to just order me around, and obviously have no real reason as to why, they've lost my respect. If I ask them (politely) why I have to follow a certain rule and they have no good reason, I might, depending on how far I can "push" the person, suggest an alternative. If they shoot down the alternative and are clearly writing down rules with no backing, that's just being stubborn and unreasonable. If they are uncomfortable with my probing, then good. I've uncovered one of their inconsistencies. That's one good thing I did that day. Maybe it will make them review that rule so that it actually makes sense.
        The reason I tend to dislike authority is because, unless the person is admirable and actually thinks about what they're doing, people in positions of power tend to toss around laws just because they can. That is one of the fastest ways to degrade yourself in my eyes, and the main reason I tend to disregard authority figures: I'm distrusting of them. It might seem cynical, but I'm generally wary of people high up on the corporate ladder, because at a certain point it becomes very easy to slip into the "do-it-because-I-say-so" mode. Note that this isn't always the case, but it's certainly a possibility the more powerful a person becomes. Admirable people are fair and reasonable no matter how high up on the authoritative ladder they get. That is something impressive.
        So you see, I don't dislike authority figures. They just don't get much more weight than anyone else. Oh, and another annoyance of mine: people who sit on their laurels. Self-betterment is another major tenet of mine. Those people who sit around gazing at their certificates and don't continue reaching? They piss me off too.
        A final note: no matter how terrible of a person someone is, they always have redeeming qualities of some sort. Even the most evil people ever to walk this earth have something to admire - or, at the very least, scraps of pity. Nobody ever gets a "failing grade" in my book. They could hover over a failing grade, but they'll never get there.


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