Friday, May 12, 2006

"Welcome to the real world" she said to me, condescendingly, "take a seat" ...

I think I may have a problem with authority, this was brought to my attention this morning by someone I work under (oops), and the more I thought about it, the more I'm not surprised. A lot of things we are taught when we are young show up in our actions when we grow up, and for some reason people are often surprised by this.
Take my problem with authority for example. When I was in elementary school I was identified as a gifted student. Most of the special funding in schools goes to helping kids who have intellectual disabilities, or just trouble keeping up, and the teacher is busy with the 20 or so kids who are working at the grade level, leaving those of us who are ahead of the curve to fend for ourselves (especially since I went to a Catholic school where they don't believe in skipping grades). For me this meant a lot of independent work, and I mean A LOT. The teacher would give us a project (usually with alot of wiggle room for us to take it in a direction that interested us) send us to the library, maybe check in with us a few times, and then talk to us again when it was done. We also had some enrichment classes which taught us alot about critical thinking and problem solving. So basically there was a lot of freedom and a lot of self direction, you want to take the project in a different direction? Sure! You want to leave class and go work in the library? Sure! You want to help the librarian check out books for the kindergartens instead of doing class work? Sure! In high school I was in a lot of enriched classes which gave us similar freedom and I was also given leadership training galore.
So what is the result of all this? I like to be in charge of myself of course! What did you think would happen?! If you put me in charge of a project but still try to micromanage and get it done your way instead of just letting go, I'm not going to be really receptive to your ideas, I'm used to doing things on my own in my own way. And if you make a suggestion and I see a major flaw in it, I'm not just going to smile and nod, I'm going to point it out and suggest an alternative because I've been taught to analyze and problem solve.

I see similar issues happening in society as a whole. I've read various media reports saying that our generation is unmotivated and has no work ethic... to that I say, what did you expect?? We were told that if we worked hard at school and went to University the world would be our oyster. We watched our parents be miserable with jobs they didn't enjoy, so they put even more pressure on us to go to University so that we wouldn't end up like them. So here we are, with our degrees, expecting a job to fall in to our lap. But guess what? Its alot harder than everyone said it would be! The baby boomers haven't retired yet so we are stuck in menial jobs and have little to no authority (and I'm sure I'm not the only one with authority issues). We jump around between jobs and companies looking for something that will pay us well and make us happy, because that's what we were promised.

It's a funny paradox, the generation that worked so hard to empower us are now frustrated when we exert that power.
How do we bridge this gap?


Father God,
Forgive me my pride, my arrogence, my resentment. Change this heart in me, make me aware of my feelings and actions. I am too weak and sinful to change on my own but I pray that Your holy spirit would fill me and give me Your heart, Your character. Lord you came as a humble servant, help me to serve those around me with love and humility.

Oh kneel me down again,
here at Your feet
Show me how much You love humility
Oh Spirit be the star that leads me to
The humble heart of love I see in You

You are the God of the broken
The friend of the weak
You wash the feet of the weary
Embrace the ones in need
I want to be like You, Jesus
To have this heart in me
You are the God of the humble
You are the humble King


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