Is Obedience essential for being a
Fifty years ago, parents found that disciplining their children at that time was a piece of cake as they did not have to worry about any fierce counterattacks or the possibility of a coup d’etat or rebellion as it were. Back in the old days, parents demanded obedience from their children and they got it much to the chagrin of the child, but the child obeyed. A mandatory teaching of a righteous moral compass was the goal of every parent that did everything from discipline their child with belts to their hands. In the article titled The Punishment of Children, the author Mangasarian says this,
Conscientious parents can have no interest in life higher than the well-being of their children. Children furnish an opportunity to do for them what we wish we had done for ourselves. The perplexing problems of life will remain unsolved until we have learned how to educate the future men and women. The home has been called a miniature moral empire, which suggests the idea of order. Order is born of authority and obedience. (Mangasarian, 1894, pg. 493) The truth is, obedience is often overlooked as being a matter of life and death; it is in so many ways. Now, this begs the question; is obedience essential for being a good citizen. The answer, yes. Nowadays, people could care less how they raise their children because they lack the discipline themselves, and some do it because they do not want to become their parents who were just as hard or harder on them as children. Most parents today forget what discipline was like 30 to 50 years ago. Children were not discouraged from back talk of any kind, they did as they were told. If there was someone in need; they offered their help in every way possible even if it meant giving that person the very last dime in their pocket. It is just sad how the basic principles of being a good citizen has fallen on the deaf ears of so many; it is so easy for a person to act like they were raised in a barn instead of in civilization. Obedience teaches people many things, and it helps people in other ways. One of the most powerful ways to feel powerful as a parent is to discipline a child right, and that child grows up knowing right from wrong to helping a helpless old lady fend off a mugger. This paper will talk about that and how obedience is instrumental in creating a good citizen not to mention the attention that comes with it.
Obedience is essential for being a good citizen, and one of the ways is for a person to do what they are told by their parents. Obedience in this regard shows people that the person is very well behaved and very well-mannered. Obedience is essential for being a good citizen because it teaches a person how to do the right thing when the need arises, and it gives a person perspective on how to act in a very precarious situation. Case in point, a person is walking down the street, and they see a middle aged woman being bothered by 2 high school aged thugs. The person immediately runs over to the lady, and gives her a hand in holding off the thugs. In so doing, he saves her life and helps her collect herself from the shock. The result is that the guy is rewarded for helping a lady, and he gets some perspective on being a good citizen by looking out for those close by that need help. Being a good citizen is more than just returning a wallet to the owner, or helping a lady with back problems, and helping with the lawn mowing; it is a full time job. In a big way, being a good citizen gets everyone’s attention because not only is the person admired for doing the right thing, but they also become a very powerful inspiration of the greater good. According to the article titled The Sunday School Curriculum: II Teaching as Determined by the Natural Development of Religious Motives, the author Richard Hodge stated this,
Further, the church has been accustomed to grade children according to those who have a moral responsibility and those alleged to have none, and too many Sunday-school teachers, so far from entering the kingdom of God as little children. (Hodges, 1906, pg. 349). Simply put, doing everything that a parental figure tells a person to do is the absolute law of the land. Children that have parental discipline grow up to be good citizens because they know the value of right and wrong, which is hard to comprehend when it comes to society today. Conversely, children that are not being taught obedience at home usually end up in bad situations that require the law to handle the disciplining that is ridiculously sad. It is so easy for a person to do wrong, and claim that they were not taught any better which would be a more or less valid excuse, the real accomplishment is knowing when to do the right thing.
Essentially, obedience does not just make a person a good citizen, a person has to want to become a good citizen, and ten times out of ten, their parents want to instill in them the morals that they have been bestowed. Obedience is essential for being a good citizen, and obedience lesson number three is giving into conformity. A good citizen always obey the laws of the land, which means that no matter what laws that are in place or being enforced, a good citizen always obeys them. For example, a large number of high school students are told that they are to be in their homes by the time the streetlight comes on which is at approximately 8:00pm. Incidentally, more than half of those high school students are not obeying the law and they are picked up/arrested as a result. Clearly, this is a situation where obedience comes in handy in order for a good citizen to avoid the harsh penalties of breaking the law; people will complain about how unfair certain laws are because they do not feel like doing their part, and enforcing those laws. Those laws are there for a very good reason, and any good citizen would see the logic in such laws. Obedience is a way for people to avoid getting in trouble and being subjected to the harshest penalty possible, the logic more than speaks for itself. According to the article titled Idealism and the Conception of Law in Morals, the author Mukerji states this,
Law in the sense of obedience to the statute, is opposed to morals and to the ‘end.’ But ‘law’ in the sense of what is universal, is of the very heart of morals, and to contrast it, in the sense, with the ‘end’ is but to be guilty of a false antithesis. (Mukerji, 1914, pg. 321). Changing our attitudes to reflect those of the parental figures is a recommended course of action because it not only changes their perception of the individual, but it helps a person to see the error of their ways. If a parental figure tells their child to pick up their toys, and put them away than that child very well better do it because in so doing, they would be on the fast track to becoming a good citizen. Obedience shows authority figures how mature a person can be or are outright; it is a good feeling when a person can be greeted and treated as an adult by other adults; it is a privilege that a person earns.
Another aspect that makes obedience an essential element for being a good citizen is showing respect, and in return, people will show respect to that person. Every day, people are getting away with not showing respect for other people, their elders for example. Case in point, a college age girl is making fun of an older woman for wanting to return to school, and get a college education. The young lady makes comments that signify that the older lady does not belong there, and disrespectfully calls the older lady old to her face. The young lady’s lack of respect for her elders is apparent and appalling. Obedience teaches us the importance of respect for our elders. According to the article titled Some Fundamental Principles in the Teaching of Ethics, the author Isabel Steward stated this,
Whatever makes for social order and progress is right, moral and ethical; whatever is contrary to the common good is wrong, immoral and unethical. Our effort, then, in teaching ethics is to help people to consider what they can contribute to the common good, and to get them to commit themselves to the realization of that ideal in all activities of life. (Steward, 1922, pg. 908) Most teens will argue the fact that doing what their parents tell them is a bigger headache than it is worth which a lot of times, will get them nothing, but nagging and complaining. However, the true power of obedience from an authority figure can open doors to more and more privileges even life lessons. There is an old saying, if a person treats their parents badly than the parents will have no need to be there for the child. Children who are taught obedience from an early age will benefit immensely when they are adults, and teach other people who did not grow up the same way how to be obedient not to mention reaping the rewards for doing so. Obedience is a very hard act to follow, and some people do not care what their lives are as bereft of obedience. It is said that a person who lacks obedience lacks maturity which is essential in growing up, and being a responsible adult. Listening to a parent goes in two directions, the parent listens to the child and vice versa. Obedience is essential for being a good citizen because good citizens are role models for other people, and it is something that people especially small kids should embrace early. A person is communicating how they feel will most establish a respectful rapport between both parties.
The final element that makes obedience essential to being a good citizen is responsibility, and most people know what it takes to be a responsible, good citizen. According to the article titled Good and Bad Mothers, the author Amelia Barr stated this,
The difference between good and bad mothers is so vast and so far reaching that it is no exaggeration to say that the good mothers of this generation are building the homes for the next generation and that the bad mothers are building the prisons. (Barr, 1893, pg. 408).Good citizens do whatever it takes to stay out of the hot seat, and that includes obey the laws, and taking care to not end up in a situation where that person can be held responsible for the life of another through their actions. For example, someone is at a party with a bunch of people who have been drinking, and a few of the people there are close to death because of the dangerous amount of alcohol intake. A good citizen would be obedient, and not even be caught dead at a party like that because of the imminent danger that they would otherwise be in. However, if there was a person coming out of the party yelling that some of the people in the house were on the brink of death from alcohol poisoning then calling the police, and an ambulance is something that a good citizen would do out of concern for the people there. Most people are told not to do things for a reason, and the ramifications for their disobedience are often severe because of the lack of discipline on their part. Obedience is essentially life-saving, and it keeps people safe from things or scenarios that could otherwise hurt them. Going back to the question, is obedience essential for being a good citizen, yes it is. For most people, there is no greater love than knowing that being obedient does not just put them on the path to being a good citizen, but makes them better than those who exercise no discipline and morals. In the world today, obedient and law-abiding citizens are few and far between; some people are happy with just being troublemakers. Parental figures are the wisest people on planet Earth, and their wisdom is practically infinite. There are no excuses for a person to be disobedient to parental figures or even those who are higher up in power as a boss or a supervisor.
Works Cited Page
Mangasarian, M. M. (1894) The Punishment of Children. International Journal of Ethics, 4, 493-498. Retrieved May 17, 2014, from www.jstor.com database
Hodges, R. (1906) The Sunday-School Curriculum: II. Teaching as Determined by the Natural Development of Religious Motives. The Biblical World, 27, 348-356. Retrieved May 17, 2014, from www.jstor.com database
Mukerji, N.C. (1914) Idealism and the Conception of Law in Morals. International Journal of Ethics,24, 321-333. Retrieved May 17, 2014, from www.jstor.com database
Steward, I. Some Fundamental Principles in the Teaching of Ethics. (1922) The American Journal of Nursing, 22, 906-913. Retrieved May 17, 2014, from www.jstor.com database
Barr, A. Good and Bad Mothers. (1893). The North American Review, 156, 408-415. Retrieved May 17, 2014, from www.jstor.com database