Respect and Obedience
While in line at the store, I overheard a couple of ladies talking about the athletic event from the previous weekend. The one lady said,
“The event was very nice. It’ too bad, that out team came in last place. The Coach showed poor sportsmanship by walking of the floor. I was appalled, when my daughter walked off the floor behind the coach and the other girls.”
I interrupted, to ask how old the lady’s daughter was. She responded, “ fifteen, I have taught her better than that, she should know not to walk off the floor during a competition.”
I said, “Yeah, at that age it must be tough to make your own decision and do whats right, despite what is going on around you.” The lady didn’t agree with me but we dropped the conversation right there. A few weeks later that same conversation came to mind.
We all teach our children to do the right thing. We teach them to be polite and courteous, we also teach them to respect authority. We expect our young people to always do what’s right, because that is the way we taught them.
I don’t think that mother realized that the girl was doing what she had been taught. She had been taught to respect authority and follow instructions.
She is a young lady in an athletic competition, she respects her coach and follows the coach’s instructions daily. When that fifteen year old girl walked off the floor behind her coach and team mates, she was doing exactly what she had been taught. She was respecting the authority of her coach.
While it is true, that the coach showed poor sportsmanship. It is also true that at fifteen, the young lady, has not quite developed the brain power to stand up, for what is right, in the face of authority. If she had been 21, she may have felt empowered to make the personal decision to stay on the floor because it shows good sportsmanship.
We often expect our children to make the right decision all the time. Sometimes the choices to be made are beyond their maturity level. Standing up for what is right against your peers is one thing, but to stand alone against your coach is a totally different monster. When was the last time you made a bone head decision? Or when did you last do something that was not quite the right thing but the thing your boss expected you to do even though you knew better?
Let us continue to teach our children to exercise their right to disagree, even with with authority, and hope, that when the time comes they are equipped to make the right decision.