Thursday, April 7, 2011


In General Jimmy Doolittle’s book, “I Could Never Be So Lucky Again”, he makes an interesting observation. He said that one has to learn to submit to authority before becoming an effective authority/leader. General Doolittle thinks he would have gotten off to a better start with Generals Eisenhower and Patton if he would have learned to submit to authority earlier. He became an Army pilot before there was a separate Air Force and his formal military training was minimal. He thinks he would have been a better junior officer if he had undergone more formal military training.

Submitting to authority is a very important life skill. “No” must mean “no” and right can’t be negotiated with or compromised. It’s especially important to learn boundaries and limitations as children. People keep pushing until they find the firm resistance. Without the resistance of firm boundaries and limitations, people/children keep pushing. Interestingly, firm boundaries not only teach right and wrong but it conciliates our minds with the security and comfort of knowing where the limits are. It removes the chaos of the unknown margins which is often at the root of rebelliousness. We soothe the psyches of our children and others when we clearly define our boundaries and limitations.

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