The Law of Obedience
The very first item in the creed of common sense is _Obedience_.
Perform your work with a whole heart.
Revolt may be sometimes necessary, but the man who tries to mix revolt
and obedience is doomed to disappoint himself and everybody with whom he
has dealings. To flavor work with protest is to fail absolutely.
When you revolt, why revolt--climb, hike, get out, defy--tell everybody
and everything to go to hades! That disposes of the case. You thus
separate yourself entirely from those you have served--no one
misunderstands you--you have declared yourself.
The man who quits in disgust when ordered to perform a task which he
considers menial or unjust may be a pretty good fellow, but in the wrong
environment, but the malcontent who takes your order with a smile and
then secretly disobeys, is a dangerous proposition. To pretend to obey,
and yet carry in your heart the spirit of revolt is to do half-hearted,
slipshod work. If revolt and obedience are equal in power, your engine
will then stop on the center and you benefit no one, not even yourself.
The spirit of obedience is the controlling impulse that dominates the
receptive mind and the hospitable heart. There are boats that mind the
helm and there are boats that do not. Those that do not, get holes
knocked in them sooner or later.
To keep off the rocks, obey the rudder.
Obedience is not to slavishly obey this man or that, but it is that
cheerful mental state which responds to the necessity of the case, and
does the thing without any back talk--unuttered or expressed.
Obedience to the institution--loyalty! The man who has not learned to
obey has trouble ahead of him every step of the way. The world has it in
for him continually, because he has it in for the world.
The man who does not know how to receive orders is not fit to issue them
to others. But the individual who knows how to execute the orders given
him is preparing the way to issue orders, and better still--to have