Virtue of the Week: Obedience


Obedience is the virtue that teaches us to be humble. The spirit of obedience helps us to shed our ego and pride. We should learn to be humble and to respect the wishes of others, especially our parents and elders.

Obedience means listening with an open heart to those in authority. It does not mean going against our conscience or acting blindly to whatever those in charge want. True obedience in our relationships with others demands that we be conscience of our responsibility to find the truth through talking, listening, and mutual respect. Humble obedience is even more powerful than obedience alone. Humility supercharges obedience. Our pride is usually our own worst enemy. It makes us weak. If we want to be really strong we can practice humble obedience more. Kind of like doing power cleans to build our core strength, but we need to put away our self-will first.

Here are a few ways to become stronger through obedience:

Obedience to laws: Sometimes we think we are above the law, we whine and complain about it. When we do that, what kind of messages are we sending to the young people who are watching us, looking for a virtuous example in their life. If the sign says 25 mph, go 25 mph.

Obedience to a government, organization, religion, or church: These are great arenas to find the truth through talking, listening, and mutual respect.

Obedience to a Creator: Do you serve an omnipotent divinity? If you do, then why don’t you follow his/her mandates? Self-will? Ingratitude?

Obedience to self-imposed constraints: Controlling your “Id” with your “Super-Ego”, be obedient to the rules you set up for yourself.

Obedience of a spouse or child to a husband/wife or parent respectively: Learning to put that self-will away and to say “ I will comply”, pick your battles and surrender often.

Obedience to workplace management: Obey first, then seek the truth through communicating, and always remember whose bank account your paycheck is drawn on.

Finally, humble obedience entails not feeling superior to anyone, but placing yourself at the service of all. We need to learn to always think of others before we think of ourselves. To truly lead a virtuous life, we need to learn to live in humble obedience …….

…….whether we like it or not.