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296. Authority of Love

A professor of Oxford was taking his evening walk. He sensed someone was following him. He walked on, ignoring the other man. Soon he was sure that he was being followed. He stopped and when the other man came closer, he asked him what he wanted. 'His Majesty has sent for me to form the next government. I was your student a long time ago. Before assuming office as Prime Minister of England, I have come to receive your blessing.' The professor's suspicion turned into an agreeable surprise.

Those who are in authority are constantly apprehensive about its loss. When will his authority be undermined, at what point will it be at stake are, in these days of changing public values, ever-present premonitions. They also know if authority is relaxed a little, much of it will soon be lost, or maybe all of it will vanish. Young women who have gone to the USA witness the changing equations of authority between men and women with utter surprise or total bewilderment. In the USA, women decide their affairs on their own. The question of consulting the husband does not arise. Nor do they inform the husbands of their decision. They are on their own. This is inconceivable for an Indian woman who has just landed in the USA.

In a good household the harmony is maintained by affection at one level, while authority exerts itself at another level. Proportions vary. If the proportion is 40-60, a gentle effort to change it to 60-40 will turn the domestic happiness into heavenly JOY on earth. Authority is external. Affection is an inner value. Authority exercised from outside is received as discipline by the submitting members. In an affectionate family the member exercising authority puts himself at the end of the queue when it comes to a question of meeting the requirements. Authority is obeyed; affection is gratefully received by an expansive heart. Relax the authority a little. Replace it by the authority of affection. The external discipline gives place to inner self-discipline. The cudgel is withdrawn in favour of culture. When members of the family obey the dictates of affection, the richness of emotion at home changes the home into a sweet home. Its efficiency increases many times.


story | by Dr. Radut