Definition and meaning: Obedience means ‘to do ones duty’ and ‘to obey the command of elders or superiors or authorities whose authority is normally not questioned’.
The word ‘obedience comes’ from the Old French word obeir. This word in its turn has a Latin root in the word ‘obedere’. Both these words mean to do one’s duty.
And this is what the English word obedience means today. So, obedience is an ancient word of Latin origin, that came to English via Old French.
There is the need and importance of obedience in human life, because those who do not know how to rule must obey.
There is need for obedience in human life. Obedience is necessary in private life, social life and in every other sphere of life where one is expected to do his duty or earn his livelihood. A person must obey his elders or superiors. Children must obey their parents. Students must obey their teachers. We should remember that obedience is the rule of life and without it life is never complete.
In workplace: Workers must obey the command of their officers and the public must obey the command of their leaders. They should do this to ease their progress and fulfill their duties to the best of their ability and satisfaction. On the other hand if there is any disruption anywhere, it will lead to chaos, confusion and anarchy.
Children should obey their parents. Obeying parental precepts shows our respect. Children are taught to obey the command of the elders because it is the first lesson that they should learn. If a child does not obey his parents, he is sure to be spoilt. On the other hand a child who obeys his parents and acts according to their instructions has a bright future.
Respect for teachers: Obeying teachers’ rules shows our respect for them.
In society: Obedience is essential in individual life as well as in social life. Man is a social animal and to live in the society man has to obey certain rules, tradition, customs and conventions. If necessary he should be ready to curtail his personal liberty to secure social life and mend his social behavior. The things that blind the society such as love, friendship, fellow-felling, religion and culture all are bound by rules and obedience to these rules enables us to lead a happy social life. On the other hand those who break away from these social norms and want to build a society of their own without due respect for rules suffers a lot in life.
It helps in keeping the social structures running smoothly. If everyone is obedient to key precepts society keeps on running smoothly. It helps in stopping crimes. Obedience to the law stops people from committing crimes.
Types of obedience
- Legal: obeying the law.
- Parental: following our parents’ precepts.
- Educational: following the rules at school.
- Religious: following our religion’s precepts.
- Ideological: being obedient to a certain idea of life.
Conclusion: Obedience is a necessary element of life. However, blind obedience to unquestioned authority is bad. Sometimes some autocrats and despots do not give justice to the people. They oppress them like anything and force them to obey blindly the rules imposed by them. In such cases, people with should fight for right law and justice. But otherwise, normal obedience to elders and superiors is very necessary for success in life.