Let me start this essay by writing the definition of obedience and listening, which are the subjects of this writing. Obedience - compliance with someone's wishes or o orders or acknowledgment of their authority. Listening take notice of and act on what someone says; respond to advice or request. Another definition I came across the internet which made the topic of this essay easier to understand is that obedience - comes from the Latin root word OBOEDIRE , which means to Listen". My first reaction when I was given this assignment or requirement on writing a 5 page essay about obedience and listening was impossible. How can I make it reach to 3 pages at least when I can only think of general instances like school rules and regulations. Then I started looking back to the very first time I obeyed an authority or someone superior than me. I ended up reminiscing my first memories of my parents, especially my mother whom I spent most of my childhood or growing up years. I never realized until to this writing of essay that obedience and listening have been a part of my life ever since I started to understand and follow instructions of my parents. My parents had so many don'ts at that stage of my growing up years, like don't play with lighters or matchsticks as they may cause fire or simply hurt me. Do not stay near the stairs for it is not a safe place for a child like me. Do not insert your fingers into the electrical outlets for it may electrocute or simply hurt me and do not play with pointed objects for they are not toys for children.
There are still a lot of Don'ts but now I have realized that I have listened and obeyed my parents' rules and so I never encountered any major problem or injury in my childhood days. My parents always tell me to listen to everything they say and follow all house rules and regulations. For everything was for my own good. And by listening and obeying them makes me a good child, and an obedient child makes parents happy.
There was an experience I cannot forget when I was 9 years old, I was in grade 4 then. My mother gave me a list of things to do, but I did not immediately said yes to her order. Her order was after doing my assignments I have to arrange my books and notebooks inside my schoolbag. I have to dispose all candy wrappers and scratch papers, and organize my pencils erasers and pencil sharpener inside my pencil case. My mother asked me at that time if I heard and understood what she was ordering me to do. I said “I heard what you said mom but I just want to clarify if you wanted me to do the task every day? ". My mother laughed and hugged me she said I was really listening to her because she forgot to specify that my task was to be done every night of schooldays only. So I said yes to my mother, that I will obey her orders about arranging my schoolbags. So my parents being the authority at home, is always followed. I am always obedient to what they say during my elementary days.
As I grew up into a teen-ager I realized that I started to occasionally go against what my parents tell me. I listen to what they tell me but I defy some of their rules. As simple as like I spend too much time on watching television, when they specifically ordered me to sleep early after doing my assignments. Consequences like waking up late and having acnes on face later made me realize that had I listened and obeyed the authority in our home who actually is my parents, nothing like being tardy in class would have happened. Another instance on listening was, my mother tells me to be careful with what I eat for it may make me fat or sickly. Every now and then I gain a kilo or so in my weight, simply because I refuse to listen to what my mother tell me about food rich in fibre and about what too much eating of sweets can do to our body. So it is clear to me now that obedience is not simply saying yes to authority, but actually listening and following or doing what it tells you. Another realization is that listening and obedience are like spoon and fork, shampoo and conditioner, father and mother, they work hand in hand. They are like partners like my parents. Since my two girl cousins live with us, I grew up with them so I had experiences on listening and obeying them. Both cousins are older than me. The e oldest cousin who is a nurse once told me that I should always maintain order inside my closet. What she wanted me to do then was to arrange my undies, handkerchiefs, socks, shirts pants, dresses, school uniform, and shirts in designated spots. She also ordered me to always return toothbrush, hairbrush, toothpaste, hairclips, and toiletries in their designated places after each use. She does not want my things scattered because she said it is irritating to the eyes and that I am a girl and as a teen-ager I should start having the habit of being orderly and organized. I listened to what she told me and obeyed and I am happy every day that I do not have to spend too much time searching through my closet. I learned how to go around the bathroom in systematic way and less time because my toiletries are organized. I listen to what my nurse cousin tells me and obey what she tells me. i have realized that I was obeying her all these times, not because I see her as an authority at home or someone superior than me but because I see that her intentions were good and that she is also concerned of how I would turn out to be.
A fine lady like her. The other cousin who is 5 years older than me once ordered me to lower down the volume of the television, at first I answered her back that it was not that loud and even gave excuse that if I lower down the volume I will not hear clearly or understand what I was watching then. At the end of the argument I ended up obeying her because she explained that she was being distracted from too much noise coming from the television. She said that it was their examination week. So now I realized that too was listening and obeying, but not obeying right away, maybe because I do not see her as an authority at home or I just see her as my equal since we were both students and cousins. The good thing was I listened and obeyed, but it was quite a long process. I was eleven when I had the first experience of being fetched from home to school and vice versa by a school bus. The first day was instructions from the school bus driver. The driver clearly told me where he seatbelts were located and that immediately after being seated inside the bus I should fasten my seatbelt. He also ordered me to stay seated all throughout the travel from our house to school and vice versa. Since I realized that the driver was the authority inside the school bus, being the oldest and the one in charge of the steering wheel, I listened and obeyed because I realized that it was for my own safety. My auntie who also lives with us always tells me to choose friends who are of good influence to me. She always tells me that I should not join friends who engage in bad activities like smoking, cutting classes, and having boyfriends at this very young age. I listen to what she tells me because I am aware that what she tells me are for my own good. One last experience at home which I want to share was when our house helper told me unpleasant things about a neighbour friend, and ordered me to stay away from that particular person. I listened to what she told me but did not obey her order of staying away from that friend, because I believe that what she told me about that person maybe wrong, not true or simply rumour only. So I refused to obey her not because she is our house helper but my conscience dictated me that I should be fair to my friend who has consistently shown me concern and goodness. Home is not the only place where we listen and obey superiors or authority. Our community or Barangay and the Church are also authorities which lays certain rules and regulations for us to follow.
Simple things like proper disposal of garbage and simply not littering, and maintaining camaraderie and peace within the barangay. In our subdivision the community leaders strictly implement that all garbage must be put in a place where stray dogs cannot reach, so that the dogs cannot mess with the garbage and not scatter them even before the garbage collecting truck arrives and pick up household garbage. At home I was assigned by my grandfather to help our house helper in putting out plastic bags of garbage and hang them onto the nail my grandfather planted onto the trunk of a big acacia tree in front of our house. Same as the home owners association officers, grandfather clearly ordered me to make sure the garbage are in their designated place for the garbage collector to see and not for stray dogs to reach. I listen and obey my grandfather’s order because I do not want the front of our gate dirty and stinky. I know that doing this chore is for our family's cleanliness and health's safety. It will also contribute to the total cleanliness of our subdivision.
Inside the church we are obliged to be quiet and listen to the words of GOD thru the priest and understand the teachings every Sunday and try to apply these teachings into our daily lives. Tough one, but every time I am tempted to be disobedient I try to remember the 10 commandments, so as to reinforce in me the biggest authority in my life whom I need to obey always and that is GOD. I remember when I was in grade two; I was seven years old when I received my First Holy Communion. Our teacher gave us instructions not to be late, to be neat and in complete white uniform, and not to eat before receiving the Body of Christ. And so I Obeyed, I came in early inside the church in my neatly pressed white uniform and neatly combed hair, I did not bring any candy or biscuit inside my pocket because I know that if I obey all instructions my teacher and most of all God will be happy.
The school is another place where I spend most of my time, 5 days in a week, and I have realized that by simply listening to the teachers who are in charge of the welfare of the students in school is a way of being obedient to the authority in school. It was in my first year as a high school student when I first joined a school or class field trip. It was in Biak na Bato in Bulacan. The instructions from our teachers were: bring extra clothes, for there is a river there that we will visit, bring flashlight for the cave exploration, and of course bring food needed for the trip. I was thankful that I paid attention and listened well to the things to bring along because we all got wet when we crossed the river in Biak na Bato, and inside the cave there was also water. The flashlight I brought helped me saw clearly the beautiful formation of stalactites and stalagmites inside the cave and of course served me well in finding my way around the cave exploring with my classmates and teachers. The most important instructions for me that I obeyed was to always stick with the group of classmates and teachers and not to dive into the deep portion of the water inside the cave. And because I listened and obeyed my teachers I went home bringing with me only informative and happy memories of that field trip. The second experience of class field trip was in second year in high school. Almost same instructions: Bring extra clothes, specifically our P.E. uniform, for easy identification of CHS students who were in that field trip, Stick with the group of classmates and teachers. I only realized when we were joined by other Enchanted Kingdom visitors inside the park, when I saw that it was fast and easy to spot fellow CHS student because of the striking colour of our P.E. uniform which was in colours of maroon and yellow. Like the first field trip I had, I listened and obeyed field trip rules set by the teacher that is why I went home safe, no injury, and very happy with the new experience I shared with my classmates and teachers at the Enchanted Kingdom. In school just last week, our Christian Living teacher ordered us to keep quiet and pay attention to class discussion. Instead of listening and obeying our teacher, my classmates and I continued talking to each other, creating a noise not typical of a classroom environment. Our Christian Living teacher told us that we have to write 5 pages of essay on reflection about listening and obedience. At first it appeared to me as punishment, but later while writing this paper I have realized that our teacher wants us to understand the importance of listening and obedience not only in class but in almost aspects of our lives. When I talk to a classmate next to me I go against the classroom rules of listening and obedience, because I have realized that I would never understand the teachings or lessons in class when I talk at the same time as my teacher discusses lessons inside the classroom. I had so many realizations in life that came back to my memory when I shared some of my experiences on listening and obedience.
These experiences became an eye-opener to me that in every group, may it be in our home, among relatives, friends, in our subdivision, in church, and in school, listening and obedience whenever the situation calls for it or when an authority present requires it are important to have a harmonious and peaceful relationship within a group or within a society. To conclude this essay I would like to share that very clearly now I see the close relationship of the words listening and obedience, and the many benefits I enjoyed from listening and obedience to proper authorities. Authorities I have identified through my experiences like my parents, elders, community leaders, priests, and our teachers. There are authorities I am aware of and respect like police and duly elected public officials, but since there are no direct experiences I could share about them, I will just put in mind that my little contributions in listening and obedience to the authorities I have encountered in life will surely help in the peaceful and organized society that each one of us is aiming for.
I am not perfect, I am still at the stage where I sometimes try to express my independence, test the limits of certain rules, but one thing I am sure of I am definitely aiming to be a good person at home , in school and in my barangay or community. And every day will always be a battle for me. For listening and obedience are simple words as they may appear at first, but require a great deal on my part on being consistent in the application of these skill and attitude to listen and obey to the proper authority, so as to have a peaceful and organized life.