Quote Of The Day #7

Really? Giving orders and being obedient are the same? I thought they are the opposite. Wait, let me think. They are the same only under the condition that the obedient party is willing to accept the order. And willingness can be hard to define and often the line between willingness and unwillingness is blurred and wavering. Most of us are bound by custom, preoccupied by habits, schooled in a certain way. This doesn’t mean we can relinquish our responsibility towards our own behavior, but it does say that sometimes a manifested willingness is just an automatic reflex towards a familiar stimulus, not a real willingness from an informed reasoning mind.

How about people like me who are grudgingly obedient with everlasting misgivings? I wouldn’t say I am an obedient person, but I am quite non-confrontational and even laid back. Anyway, I look obedient, but I would hate to be considered the same as an authoritarian figure.

22 thoughts on “Quote Of The Day #7

  1. I think Sartre means that people who give orders are always doing it because somebody higher up is telling them to give the orders – so they are obeying the person who has told them to give the order. I suppose you could say that the exception to that would be somebody who has nobody above them – maybe a king or the Pope for example. However I think Sartre would argue even a king or the Pope has somebody telling them to give certain orders – perhaps God – or if they’re not obeying God perhaps they’re obeying some abstract notion of how they ought to behave.

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    1. Yes, that makes sense. People speak through, think through a higher order of certain sort. So the order is not really from me, but rather from a thousand year old tradition, custom, religion etc.

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  2. I think this quote makes a lot of sense when you think about the history of Satre but in general I don’t think I necessary agree with it fully. I’m like you and I tend to obey certain things because I don’t like to be confrontational- I’m more of a passive person. I guess I need to be more aggressive lol.

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    1. Same here. I am more of a lay back kind of person, consenting only to be ostensibly agreeable. In reality, I have a lot of misgivings about a lot of things, almost like a hypochondriac worrying about various possibilities. I have thought about being more outspoken, but have never carried it out. LOL.

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        1. Many Asian American kids I know in my community here learn to keep their thoughts to themselves. They learn to communicate only the safe portion with their immigrant parents, who in most cases would have a heart attack if a full disclosure is practiced.

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        2. LOL. Wish people can communicate about these issues which are very interesting in itself, but no. That’s not really happening. Avoidance of conflicts is more prevalent.

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        3. From what I have seen avoidance is just easier for people than facing the truth. Parents tend to know that their kids are lying at least to an extent but just let it go.

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        4. Yes, in a family that’s so true. I mean parents think kids are lying and turn a blind eye (I mean in a good way) while kids think parents are lying while turning a blind eye ( I mean it in a good way). Conflict avoidance is a huge priority in a family. LOL.

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  3. In my mind giving orders doesn’t make one obedient per se but somewhat dependent. If you don’t follow what the other person demands of you, that person is put in a disadvantage.

    Of course, Sartre was from France and there was always someone who gave orders in the name of God, the Revolution, or the Republic.

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