It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
You may not think about this very much, but every now and then authorities must be questioned. Why, because anyone can discover a problem that needs to be corrected or have an insight that must travel up the chain in order to be acted upon. Just because they‘re considered professional or in a position of power, doesn’t mean they’re right. Questioning authority isn’t about rebelling, being a renegade or a badass either. It’s about being responsible and asserting yourself as an independent human being. To ask why someone demands something of you is a quality that not enough people have.
We live in a world where there are many social conventions and, so, if we aren’t questioning authority then we just blindly follow without any critical analysis. Having questioned it… you may then feel it‘s perfectly legitimate and decide to abide. Authority could mean your parents, your workplace, school, businesses and even the government. Authority works well for those who are in charge with their fixed rules and social conventions, but are often miserable for the rest of us.
How To Properly Question Authority
- Properly address the individual. Use the person’s title and name , if known, to get their attention.
- Express your concern – Be calm, while keeping your emotions in tack, express your analysis of the situation as you see it.
- State a solution for the given concern.
- Obtain agreement from authority and repeat agreement to make sure it’s understood by all.
There’s no need to start a rebellion, you don’t want to get suspended or fired. But sometimes, just have a questioning attitude that will make people question why silly rules exist, is reason enough. It‘s only when we question the social order and suddenly see things we were conditioned to believe to be normal as ridiculous that we can make changes.