Cooperating with Authority
Most of the ten commandments are “Thou shalt not.” Based on a particular view them, one that isn’t true, you could keep them by doing nothing. Think of something parallel to that. Your child says, “I didn’t do anything wrong.” You could ask, “Did you do anything right?” If my dad said, “Come here,” I was doing something wrong if I stood there. Doing nothing was bad. In a way, it was doing what I wanted to do instead of what they were telling me to do. I wasn’t submitting to their authority, which they did possess. The way my parents knew I was cooperating was by answering them when they asked me a question, verbalizing that I was hearing and understanding what they were telling me, and then moving into action on whatever they were telling me to do. Some might call this “positive feedback.” As a teacher, I don’t allow students to rise from their desks whenever they want. They must ask permission. If a student disobeys, I might order him to rise and put his name on the board. I was with another man a few years ago who was pulled over for a traffic violation. He pulled over in cooperation with the police offer. He sat in his seat until the officer ordered him to do something. He kept both hands on his steering wheel for the officer to see. He spoke respectfully. Not doing any of these could have turned that situation in the opposite direction.
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