On Authority

I should get some kind of award- I’m sat typing this in the school library (again) this is the third computer I’ve tried to log onto and now it’s refusing to take my memory stick- instead of stomping my feet and crying I’ve decided just to screw the system, type this on a word document and email it to myself.

Speaking of emails I finally got around to checking my inbox today for the first time in about six months- I have a total of 67 unread emails… thankfully they’re all just notifications and stuff, nothing important.

Anyway, in future I vow to get better at checking my inbox- I also think that I should actually put my email up somewhere on this blog in case people want to contact me… there are also about a million things that I could and should be doing right now other than typing this. But who cares.

Today I want to write about something important that I’ve been noticing for a long time but really hit me the other day, it’s when you realise that someone bigger and more important than you is wrong.

I find that this generally happens in regard to my religion. I remember a while ago I was reading a book by Emma Restall Orr, one of my idols, and found that I disagreed with a point that she made. I had a horrible moment of questioning myself and my beliefs before suddenly realising that it was okay.

Yes, she’s a bigger and more important and more intelligent and more experienced person than I am… but we’re not the same person, and I don’t have to agree with her on everything just because she’s more experienced than I am.

It happened to me again on a larger scale when reading another book on Wicca- I can’t remember who it was by off the top of my head- and finding that I disagreed with almost everything that the author was saying. That doesn’t mean that either of us was or is wrong, it just means that we have different opinions and different experiences.

I think it’s a very sobering and defining moment to realise that you disagree with someone high up in your faith on something. It kind of made me feel like a real Pagan, like I had enough knowledge and enough experience to actually disagree intelligently (not just because I was being stubborn) about something.

I have a difficult relationship with authority. I always have had- and by that I don’t mean that I rebel or try and break away at every opportunity- I mean that I follow it blindly. I’m absolutely terrified of doing something wrong.

It’s gotten me into awful situations- and when I say that I really mean awful. I don’t want to go into graphic detail when I’m writing in a public place, but I’ll say that it’s lead to things that I will always regret.

So for me the outwardly rather unremarkable moment of sitting reading a book in my room one evening lead to perhaps one of the defining moments of my life, and certainly one of the defining moments of my time as a Pagan.

Sometimes authority is wrong. Sometimes we have to stand on our own two feet and walk the opposite way to everyone else. It’s hard and it’s horrible- especially for people like me, the idea of breaking rules or being different makes me break out in a cold sweat. I have this stupid ingrained belief that someone will always disprove anything I say, someone will always have a better argument and make me look like an idiot- and so I should just believe what other people say.

Well I won’t.

We all have the freedom to think and believe what we want- if we can back something up then it’s rational. We don’t have to follow the crowd, we don’t have to cry when someone dies, we don’t have to be sympathetic to bullies, we don’t have to follow what people say because they’re older than us.

(I mean, follow common sense- if your Ma tells you to do something and it makes sense then do it! Don’t be a stubborn arsehole and end up getting screwed over.)

The point I am trying to make is that other people are not gods- don’t follow them blindly and assume they know better than you.

’til next time,

Wren x

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