For almost six decades, now, I’ve been told what to do – an endless barrage of authoritarian orders.
Mind you, I’m not blaming my parents. Survival depends upon following the advice and guidance of those who love and protect you during those early years.
Now that I’m a parent myself, I tell Sons #1 and #2 that this period lasts until at least age 30. They remain skeptical.
I’m not blaming the education system. How else to make the little wretches listen? (a favorite phrase of my 5th-grade teacher, Mrs. Gobbs, who’d whack our recalcitrant knuckles with a ruler. Things were different, six decades ago).
I’m not blaming religious institutions (did I really just say that? The depths I’ll sink to, to make a sweetly written point). Those words in red in that bible they thump are important – the Do Unto Others parts and the Don’t Be a Dick stuff. I get the hellfire and damnation thing; it’s Mrs. Gobbs on steroids. To make the little wretches listen, organized religion needs bigger rulers.
I’m not blaming the capitalist system, per se. As a reasonable adult, I understand that if you are going to pay me a munificent salary (or even a piddling one), you get to tell me what to do. Fair is fair. Prostitution comes in many guises.
I’m not even blaming society at large. I understand that I’ll get voted off the island if I don’t make a token effort to fit in. While I generally know what’s best, other people are (inexplicably) apt to disagree. I can deal. We are indeed Stronger Together.
But I won’t be barked at by my mailbox. DO NOT BEND! DO NOT DISCARD! OPEN AT ONCE! YOUR ATTENTION REQUIRED!
Just call me The Mouse That Roared.
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