It was not the direct question, “How do you feel about authority?” Nor was it the answer I gave. It was the realization, that my verbal responses revealed a problem with authority. I seemed to have slipped the radar for nearly forty-two years. It never occurred to me that working at a motorcycle shop with barbed wire tattooed on my upper-arm, as a college graduate, cried “authority problem.” I googled the lyrics to John Mellencamp’s “Authority song” for clarity. “You don’t need no strength; you need to grow up son. Well, I fight authority, Authority always wins.” It seemed to me that I had learned a valuable lesson; fighting authority is
A few days later as I regained strength from a stinging blow to my pride, I lamented the anniversary of September 11th by watching a marathon of heart wrenching stories of heroism all day long. The rain fell hard and heavy on the roof. Thunder and lightning came alive as you do not often see here in Vegas. At the very moment history exposed that “people heeded the voice of authority and got back on the elevator,” the loudest clap of thunder shook my house. KaBoom! I felt like I had gotten a message delivered by Charlton Heston himself. I pondered all the different forms of authority, and its different levels. Is it not resistance that has carved the way towards equality? Where would we be without the “defiance” of Rosa Parks?
I learned that a fight against authority is stronger in some of than others because I assure you that I would not have gotten back on that elevator. I am a survivor and the strength that I hold can be best utilized channeled towards kindness, not fighting. There are leaders and there are followers. Know who YOU are. If you chose to lead, you will find more success in being humble, as this is the lesson I have learned. The distinction between pride and humility is vast; it is my challenge to think of others’ feelings and speak with the dignity that would impress, not offend my parents. This is the ongoing story and candid life of one woman’s transformation thus improving her destiny and its ripple effect.