Jessie's Children's Books

On Disobedience

Evaluating the potential importance of disobedience in education/ civil disobedience

A disobedient child may be a courageous one. This is especially true if he/ she has been taught to think for them self and weight the morale and physical consequenses of his/her acts.

So many adults live a complete disconnection between their capacity to choose and the consequences of their choices. As a result they are in denial of their responsibility for a given choice and any consequences that might result from it. Often they are unconscious of the fact that they have a personnel choice to make in the first place.

In an adult world, a moral choice, categorized as disobedience, can mean punishment, even a death sentence .. This is a serious business, and yet children are not generally taught to exercise their morale discernment let alone make courageous choices for ethical reasons, that may go against the established order.

The common good is far more in danger when faced with the blind obedience of the upstanding citizen who puts all his power in the hands of a 'decider'. This person is capable of burning innocents in gas chambers because some 'superior' gave him the order to do so. The devout 'religious' fanatic blasting themselves and others to oblivion is another destructive variant of this blind obedience to a cause or an organization. The soldier or policeman following orders that he/she could not humanly justify in any other circumstance is yet another.

Disobedience is an important political tool. It is a tool which is in the hands of each individual and groups of individuals who have each individually weighed the moral and ethical consequences of a given action or non action and taken their power back.

Understanding this we should be considering all the ramifications of our acts in the presence of our children so that together we learn how to make responsible choices. Those choices will consider the suffering of other living creatures and the danger to life as a whole as their most important deciding factors. Sometimes those choices will be outside the dictates of a given human legislation.