Obedience is willingness to obey command. It is an aspect of dutifulness. It is quite different from servility which means a slavish temper of mind. To be disobedient to those to whom obedience is due is undutiful ness. It is the duty of boys and girls to obey their parents, their elders and their teachers. If they fail in this duty, they are guilty of arrogance.
It is not for a boy to question the authority or wisdom of his superiors. He should know that his experience of the world is very limited. His superiors-parents, teachers and elders have been longer in the world than he and they have learnt much more than he thinks His duty, therefore, is to render obedience to them. His superiors may sometimes be mistaken. Even then is some virtue in obeying them.
Obedience is a bond of society. Without it, society cannot function for a single day. Laws are commands of the Government which should represent the will of the majority in the state. It is the duty of all citizens of a state to obey the laws passed by their representatives of the legislature. Suppose they all decide not to obey the laws, the result is anarchy. The children are expected to obey their parents. Suppose they choose to be disobedient, what will be the result? It will lead to the break up of society. The child will do whatever he likes. He will perhaps mix in bad society and will do every kind of mischief both to himself and to the society. It is a mistake to think that unquestioning obedience will lead to servility.
One who has learnt to obey in one’s younger days is likely to know how to command and enforce obedience when, in due course of time, he is called upon to do so. The soldier who as a corporal has uniformly and unquestioningly obeyed the command of his superior officers, is likely to be a better commander himself than one who has not known what it is to submit to discipline. This is true in every walk of life. The child will grow to be a man. He will himself be the father of children. It will then be his duty to teach obedience to his own children so that they may grow to be useful citizens.
When we have got ripe experience it will be time for us to exercise our own judgment. If a man who is expected to exercise his own judgment, chooses to follow blindly what others tell him, he will then be rightly hated. It will thus be seen that obedience and servility are two distinct terms. The one is for discipline, the other for the life of a wicked blood sucker.