Questioning authority

by Michelle Lasley

Michelle Lasley is a mother, wife in Pacific Northwest learning to balance green dreams with budget realities.

July 29, 2008


Categories: The Balancing Act

In the ubiquitous Shepard Street House, the aforementioned perfect 20-year-old house, I made a sign that faced outside on the north living room window that read, “Question Authority.” To those who know me, it’s no question that I do not support wars (while supporting troops is another thing entirely). And I lived in that house while our nation decided to go to war in Iraq for never-found weapons of mass destruction (distraction) in hopes of finding terrorists (where there was limited linkage they were actually there). To us, it was a no-brainer to question authority and the logic behind sending young men and women to fight for a not-so-clear cause.

Recent years have shown me different groups of people, different authorities, who likewise need to be questioned. I find it interesting what authorities we take for granted viewing their opinion as weighted in gold and which authorities we do not. For example, I might not question a doctor as often as I would a politician. But which position has more immediate impact on my well-being? I would vote that the doctor does. That being as it is, shouldn’t the doctor deserve more questioning or at least the same rigorous questioning I would give a politician? Recent health situations (I have a disease) have proved to me the importance of questioning common medical practice. I elected to take a course of treatment not typical for the U.S. (although typical for Europe) and the results have been quite good (lucky me). This result is that I have not so far needed a gland to suffer radiation.

Previous posts have shown how educators often get stuck in their own modes of thinking and find themselves on pedestals, comfortably seated. The irony of the professor who I wrote about was that he came across as a questioning individual, yet when the same type of questioning was turned on him, he refused it and made others ‘suffer’.

I have a question, dear reader, which authorities do you question and which authorities do you inherently trust?


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