According to the literal meaning of the term “Authority”, it gives an individual the right and the power to give orders to others, makes decisions for others or decisions that can impact their lives and have the right to enforce any and all forms of obedience. While the literal meaning is self-explanatory, the practical application of authority has the power to transform society and evolve it with time.
However, the word authority alone has more power associated with it then most people get to possess in their lifetime. By simply questioning the authority held by an individual to do as they please, gives them the right to exercise power. At times, this power is given by the state that a person lives in. The state allows them to do as they please and how they please it and in return it expects them to play the part of a responsible citizen. They need to abide by the law, pay taxes and help those in need.
Once upon a time, the rulers across the globe, especially the European kings and queen believed that the authority they have to rule over people, rule them and guide their lives was given by God. While the notion remains the same in most existing European monarchies, the right to exercise one’s authority has been changing hands for a while now. The word authority has always held power, but this power is becoming more and more subjective at this point.
The authority held by a parent to shape their children’s lives held power at one point. But, with the evolution of times, the role of a parent has been reduced as a part of the child’s life where they only facilitate the choices children make to live their best life. People have the authority to control their lives and the make the choices they deem fit for themselves. An individual, in this time and age, holds the power the delegate the authority people have in their life, and funnily enough, this power can easily exchange hands. At times of discomfort, where an individual feels completely lost about the course their life should take, they often turn to people they know in life to ensure that their life stays on track. This power can also be held by a partner or a spouse for a limited amount of time. This sense of ownership and the authority it gives an individual over another’s life makes them feel as if they are in momentary control.
Finally, the concept of leadership itself holds a sense of authority is itself, which accompanies a sense of power that can make oneself giddy. Leadership and the associated authority is often found in organizations, school, armies, religious institutions, and even industries. The widespread of such power is so all-encompassing that it can leave an individual feeling drunk on it. They get the authority to control people’s lives. While people should ideally make good use of this power and change their life, and the life of all those around themselves for the better, more often than not that is not the case.
The idea of authority had held a sense of intrigue every since the dawn of time. It has been a subject of constant research in social sciences, especially in empirical settings like the ones discussed above. It is responsible for giving society a semblance of order and allowing people to organize their lives into various units and formations. It is authority along with various other units of life that have made it possible for society to evolve in the way that it has and made it easier for people to be a part of a dynamic society.
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