Gullible Reactions to Authority

Sometimes my mind goes to strange places. This morning I was remembering my Boot Camp orientation when one of the drill sergeants warned us about some of the toilets that shot up steam like Old Faithful. LOL, after that I was very careful in using them. I was so gullible back then. A few years before that I was 17 and sat in a college philosophy class hearing the professor speak about the big bang theory. I immediately embraced it and did not really consider alternate theories.

I think both of these are examples of how a gullible young man was duped by an authority figure. Unfortunately my gullibility did not end in my early years. For many years I paid heed to other authority figures in my life. I had managers who painted me with a very narrow brush and I sometimes accepted their perspective. I had pastors present fundamentalist theologies and paradigms that I swallowed in whole.

Looking back I think that my view of authority was a bit broken. It is one thing to uncritically accept information when you are young but it is another to do it when you are older. For me, I think that it was an unbalanced and narrow view of authority. My understanding of it was very black and white and I did not understand the many gray shades of authority.

Years ago I began to question my authority paradigm. I started to understand that I had allowed people to influence me that really did not care about me all that much. I also began to embrace a grayer theology and ideology about authority. Anymore I am more interested in hearing from people who genuinely love me - folks who love me have great influence in my life. It is the way that it should be.


  1. Oh Bob, I so totally agree. Listen to those that love and care for you.

    Have we not all be gullible, both in youth and adulthood.

  2. Hi Bob,

    LOVE, love, luv, that spewing toilet jpg! I've downloaded it for future reference! :D

    I don't know why it is so, but I've noticed that elderly ill people tend to not put a lot of faith in what family members say and seem to depend heavily on others to tell them the truth. I wish I understood why this happens because it can be quite hurtful to family members who are doing their level best to do what's right for their loved ones. Maybe it's understandable if they see the others as authority figures more so than their loved ones.

    Something to ponder........sigh.

  3. I think the best people to listen to are those who have nothing to gain by lying. Sometimes that is those who love you. However, sometimes those who love you don't want to hurt you, so their truth can be skewed too.

    PS I loved the toilet pic and the story. It is always a hoot to look back at things we once believed, isn't it?

  4. @Wanda - I think that youthful gullibility is more understandable than the elderly flavor. Even so I think that I can still be pretty gullible at times.

    @crownring - Probably hard to listen to our grown children at times. I find mine are smarter than I sometimes give them credit for.

    @Spherical - Good thoughts. Yet I do wonder if speaking the truth in love means loving the people that you speak to? Sometimes people who have nothing to gain will still speak from the own sometimes bias ideologies and perspectives. Just think about some of the bad counsel given to battered wives by fundamentalist types who think that one must never divorce.

    @jrchaard - thanks.

  5. Amen Brother. I was very gullible and could be manipulated very easily when I was younger. I guess I am still to some extent, but I have learned to think for my self and its freeing.
    Listening to those that love me is far better than just being part of the equasion.


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