Why, I wonder, is society often indignant (and sometimes enraged) when each new generation brings forth fresh thinking that departs from tradition? Monica Sanchez discusses this phenomenon in her excellent article…particularly Grievance #3: “They have no respect for authority.”
In my opinion, those Millennials, who justifiably lose respect for authority deserve praise, because not all authority is worthy of respect. In fact, among the strongest virtues that brave, intelligent people have shown throughout history is an ethical disrespect for authority.
Consider Henry David Thoreau, who made clear his contempt for a government that used its authority to condone slavery — and also to orchestrate an illegal war of annexation against Mexico.
When government officials (including presidents) have tarnished their authority beyond redemption, what is the inevitable result? A loss of respect for all government representatives, of course!
And let’s also include religion. Is it really insolent to question the alleged veracity of biblical authority that a ninety-year-old woman gave birth?
Centuries ago, this is what Socrates taught his young Athenian students:
May his advice not only be followed by Millennials, but also engraved in the minds of all future generations!