Levon - 19103, Pennsylvania
Entered on November 16, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

This I believe…

I believe that authority, no matter how just or benevolent it may seem, should ever go unquestioned and be considered absolute. I think that no decision should be unjustified to the subjects of that authority, and no reasons should be withheld. I think that even for small changes, or trivial actions that become compulsory, one should ask, “Why is this important? Why should I do this? Is it worth giving up my rights for? Who does this benefit, them or me?” I think that if every action is questioned, and a reason needed for every decision, then that authority will be more accountable to its subjects.

I have had the odd luck of growing up in a family where freedom of thought, reason, and logic are encouraged, but one that also tries to uphold the old Armenian traditions of respect your elders, the father and mother are always right, the child is young and inexperienced, and thus should always bow down to those older. These two clashes of perspective, which were sometimes mutually exclusive, created an interesting situation for both my parents and myself. Often, I would be told to do something, and, in the infinite wisdom of a ten year old, would spend a great deal of time questioning for what reason, and to what benefit, I had to do that certain action for. No surprise that this tendency greatly exasperated both of my parents. Most of the time, the answers started with a variation of “Because I said so”, but after few minutes of haggling, I would get a curt reply and be sent on my way. This caused my one most commonly used phrase towards my parents to be “Yeah, but why?”

Of course, directly questioning the decisions of any body of authority is at best, inconvenient, and at worst, impossible, unless done full time. Therefore, it is best to try to reason out the rationale by myself, and if it is an inherently bad change or decision, then go directly to the decision maker and question why, if it matters to me enough. If the decisions and actions of an authority are challenged, then it can only lead to more accountability and more rationally thought out rules, this I believe.