“Because I’m your mother (or father)!” All of us have heard that exclamation at some point in our childhood, and more likely more than once.
Or, “Do as I say, not as I do”—that one is a bit more toxic and typically should be avoided by enlightened parents.
We should all learn by example, not necessarily by firm, rigid, and seemingly irrational demands. We all were children at one time after all—in many ways truly incapable of knowing what is best for us and not fully aware of the “why” our behavior could be dangerous or not beneficial. But that was then, this is now, we are not a child anymore, so why are we treated like one by societal authority?—politicians, police, world leaders, etc.? Good question.
One answer could be because often we do, as a whole, and as adults, act as if we cannot think for ourselves. We’ve heard this recently when we are admonished for not “thinking critically” or only listening to the mainstream media or narrative without investigating deeper into a situation. We behave like sheep, just following the furry backside in front of us. Right off the cliff.
Why is that? The answer to that question is beyond the scope of this article, yet it is relevant. I would say it is partially due to deficiencies in education, parenting, and also through the conscious, and unconscious, agenda of the culture. If we are treated like children, typically, from a psychological perspective, we will tend to act like children. Children are lower in the power spectrum, and in a class of their own, and the parents are higher, in a class of their own.
This reflects the infantilization of society. In the context of this article, the parents are represented by government authority, the children are the rest of us. We wait for the word from the parent before we make decisions, we wait for the reassurance from the parent before we take action, and anything that opposes the parent is interpreted as the enemy, the danger, and we lash out against it. Not all of us are like this, of course—and you know who I am talking about.
But just like real children, we do not expect our parents to do themselves the very thing that we are told not to do (there are exceptions with real children, but remember, we aren’t supposed to be like children anymore). The people in our communities that seem to be acting more like children and idolizing their parents (the government)will have a difficult time at first realizing that their parents are not doing as they tell us to do, but once they do realize it, things won’t go well.
Read more: Do As I Say, Not As I Do