Rewards for Disobedience!

(c) Update Centre

My television is usually calling for attention. If it could organize a protest, the placard will read, “Get rid of laptops and internet access!” Well, there’s a way around that unspoken inanimate jealousy: tap away on the keyboard with the TV in view. 🙂 At 8pm (1900GMT) today, the TV got its own moment – when the story of an event in honour of Rosa Parks caught my attention. Hers is a story well told, but that should be told again and again. But can you allow me to sum up the primary reason for her celebration in one word – disobedience! I can’t forget how hard my teachers tried in my early years in the bid to tell me how bad it was to be disobedient. My parents and siblings also drummed it in my ears – and by now you can guess how much of that stubborn trait yours truly displayed in the days.

Rosa Parks was disobedient. On December 1, 1955, she boarded a Montgomery bus on her way home from work and started a revolution by disobeying the driver who tried to uphold the law of the day. Not only her. Martin Luther king Jr. was disobedient too. He disagreed with the norm of the day and fought for what he believed in. How about his name sake, the earlier Martin Luther? His 95 theses challenged age-long beliefs. Stubborn Thomas Edison was also disobedient. They must have told him: “High-sounding fool, could you just save the lab some embarrassment by announcing that this thing may not work. Use the word, ‘may’ so it sounds like you’re not giving up yet.” Show me a man more disobedient than Nelson Mandela, the lawyer who had the option of silence but chose the path of disobedience. How about Barack Obama? Ko s’oro.

Every achiever that we celebrate today falls into one class – Les Disobedient :)! They refuse to obey the laws of the day and choose to carve new paths for themselves and others who will come after them. Guess what: obedience to set laws will keep you bound. Just nod as yours appear on this page: “My 9 to 5 now feels like a daily prison.” “I would love to make the move, but … what if it doesn’t work out?” “Ah, me I no fit try dat kain’ thing o, who you know wey don do am before?” There are many voices that ring in our heads daily, challenging the one act of disobedience that can set us on the path of greatness. There are rewards for disobedience and even if it tarries (ask Thomas Edison before you estimate that word “tarry”), it will still come! Thomas was actually caught saying, “Hell, there are no rules – we’re trying to accomplish something!”

It’s exactly one year today that I disobeyed the law of comfortable employment. Has it been rosy? No! Has it got its own rewards? Give me a mic! A few days ago, I watched a top level executive fight tears while I told the story of what I now do, and why I do the things I do – in spite of the many options to tow the line of obedience. As we walked out of the conference room, she said, “I can see that you are passionate about what you do, I’m sure it’s very rewarding…” Looking at the string of opportunities that have come my way (and that are showing their heads) this year alone, I am glad I took that step of disobedience. However, it remains with every (wo)man to locate that law that must be disobeyed and take appropriate action. Whatever that law happens to be, it sure pays to be disobedient! There are rewards for disobedience…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *