In the movie ‘Reader’, lawyer is grilling Kate Winslet who had worked for Nazis during World War II. He asks,”Why did not you let prisoners go when building was on fire?”. She does not understand the question and asks in return,”How could we ? That’s what we had been told to do. We were prison guards after all.”

Our reaction to the authorities is programmed since childhood. Whether it’s about the parent reacting to the complaint by the teacher (Authority in that case) and scolding the child or dealing with the doctor and taking his advice at face value without asking questions.

How many times we only listen during parent teacher meeting while not asking enough questions ? We remain submissive to the authority figures – whether they are in school or in government or in organizations we work with. That is what we are conditioned to do.

Better way to deal is to work together for favourable outcome – be on the level ground.  Outright blaming or discounting authorities altogether is not the way forward even though it seems to be an easy choice.

It starts right from the childhood. Next time, ask your kid to speak his mind up when you are visiting the doctor or teacher. That can be good starting point.

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