It would be incorrect to say that I do not believe that obedience has its place. It does. However, it depends upon who it is that is demanding from you your acquiescence. It also depends what their intentions are. As is said – the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. Pure motivation relies on one’s intuition – when to do what one has been told, and when not to. Unless you trust implicitly those that give you instructions, do not ever act on an imperative without thinking it through for yourself. When you can feel that an instruction has your best interests at heart you can act freely, according to your betters’ suggestions, without questioning your integrity. That is a luxurious position in which to be. As is understanding that the word ‘welfare’ is not synonymous with the word ‘charity’.
Children are motivated by the tone in your voice, not by the words you use. They can hear when you honestly mean something and when you don’t, so when you don’t mean something don’t say it unless for some reason it becomes necessary for your child to hear you lie. That may happen purely so they can discern a lie from the truth. Like if you have nothing to compare something to you cannot state categorically whether a thing is one way or another. It is best to be able to state any truth categorically. I do not see the point in illuminating a truth with grey areas? The reason for this is to ensure that the ‘cycle of Life’ with which we are familiar now becomes a framework – a firm foundation – upon which we can all build without the mistrust that has thwarted every successive attempt at transcendence.
I suspect the Catholics had a very serious reason for their ubiquitous statement: ‘thou shalt obey’. Unfortunately, for some, the mere mention of the word ‘obey’ rankles – and deeply. Those are usually people who have once trusted – and obeyed – those giving them instructions only to discover on the other side that ‘obedience’ was used for the purposes of oppression, or abuse. I understand and would accept an imperative, for example, like: Do this or you could die (and let’s not split hairs). I would not accept an order which translates into: Do this because if you don’t I will keep kicking you in the head until you are dead. That is not the way to motivate obedience. In fact, that is probably one of the fastest ways to incite defiance. But then, perhaps defiance is a new-age obedience? I guess it depends on who it is that is saying what, and to whom it is that they are speaking.