By Ron Baker
My children used to say – “you are not the boss of me.” Inherent in people is the desire to be independent.
As I crush the barriers of retirement and old age, I realize that there is no point at which someone else is not the boss of me. I have bosses all over. As much as I would like to be independent, I’m not. And the older I get, the more dependent I expect to become.
And so the question is, which bosses are worth having? If you want to talk about independence and free will – that’s where our choice lies. Yes, we do make a choice and we have free will – to choose who we will serve. Bob Dylan put the contrast well in a song written decades ago called “Gotta Serve Somebody.”
As I have listened to people over these past few years, the fight in them has become obvious. Governments have moved from lightly suggesting to lockdowns, from guidelines to mandates. People have chosen to either submit or to rebel.
The stories of history have been promoted. Stories that promote and portray safety and protection have been touted as a reason to remain loyal. Stories that promote subversion and promote heroism and standing for the right have been touted as a reason to relinquish subservience.
The science of research has been promoted. Statistics, graphs and interpretations of the science have been justified as reasons to obey or to rebel. The battlefield here is to determine who is credible – each side has created their own fact checkers.
The loyalists see themselves as fighting the good fight. The rebels, from where they sit, see themselves as heroes fighting the deadly enemy. In the end, someone who is not fighting your fight is considered to be deluded by the enemy.
Why do people fight?
Maybe I’m too simplistic. I see this as a matter of claiming your boss. We fight for the good and the right. Perhaps loudly and violently. Perhaps quietly and subversively. We call this fulfilling our vision or purpose.
Let’s back up a step. Are we really fighting current physical objects/people/things or is the fight really about ancient bosses currently modelled in those around us? Push back further and you begin to recognize that we are in a battle where powers and principalities are not the Trudeau’s or the Putin’s in flesh, but they are found in the eternal world beyond the molecules we can measure.
To understand why people fight, maybe we need to ask the question – Who do they claim as their boss?