Obedience in Society
Growing up, children are taught to obey authority figures such as parents and teachers. As you grow older, adults are expected to obey the rules and regulations of the workplace enforced by their employer; and citizens are expected to abide by the laws imposed by the government. Usually the act of obedience becomes habit, because people do not want to face the consequences that would be due to happen otherwise. One question however, what happens when an individual’s better judgment goes against those rules and regulations that they are expected to follow? Is the individual supposed to ignore their moral code and abide by whatever their superior expects them to do? Well, Martin Luther King Jr. is a man who did not believe in the segregated structure of the United States’ society in the 1960’s. However, instead of ignoring his judgment he decided to act out against segregation, and made a difference in many people’s lives to this day. Another example. What happens when obedience to harsh laws and regulations are harmful towards society, and people only abide out of fear? A great example of this is the Holocaust. This is an instance in history where disobedience towards authority could have saved thousands of lives. Throughout history, it has been proven that disobedience can be more beneficial for the common good as opposed to obedience to strict laws and regulations imposed by authority figures.
Martin Luther King Jr. was famous for his “I have a dream” speech. This speech entailed a world where segregation and racism did not exist. During the 1960’s this was a long shot. One of the most famous lines of King’s speech was “I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood” (King). During this time, King’s dream was practically unheard of and that is all it was…a dream. It was a hopeless thought that many people wished for but could never experience. There were different schools for black people and white people. There were different bathrooms, different restaurants, and different libraries. It was very rare to see interracial friendships, and interracial romance was nearly unheard of. King believed that living in a racist, segregate society was not the ideal way for people to go through life, so he decided to take a stand. According to Patrick Bassett, “King's "I Have a Dream" speech, a vision of the future so powerful that it is routinely identified through polls as one of the most moving and influential speeches of all time” (Bassett). King believed what many other people at the time believed. He believed in equality and equal opportunity regardless of race. He influenced many people’s lives during this time, and although the Civil Rights Movement was fifty years ago, today’s society remains impacted by the outcome. Because of this speech and King’s dedication to the cause, the American society today is one where equality is not nearly at a level of perfection, but it has made a tremendous difference. For that, King deserves praise and gratitude for beating the odds, and proving that he would not obey unjust, and prejudice laws and for changing the lives of a multitude of Americans in doing so. This act of disobedience made history, and will always be one of the most memorable and significant acts of rebellion throughout history. He taught people that it is okay to stand up for what is right, even if that means risking all you have. King dealt with the consequences of going against popular belief. He lived with the ridicule, and harassment that came along with it, and ended up being assassinated in 1968. Although King risked everything he had, he made the nation a better, safer place to live in because he believed in the power of his idea, and the notion that he did not have to obey laws that did not benefit him.
Adolf Hitler was a German dictator in the 1930’s. He...
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