Photo Credit: NecoleBitchie.com
I was in 9th or 10th grade and I was delving deep into African American History. I had just read The Autobiography of Assata Shakur and I was writing poetry with lines like “I’m blacker than your berry and sweeter than your juice, now taste that!” I was involved in a mini-play that would require recitation of The Pledge of Allegiance and I refused to participate because it was “against my beliefs.” In my mind it was filled with violent imagery and my little soul was aching for all of the indigenous people of the United States… Thankfully my program counselors were patient with me and my growing pains. They allowed me to be filled with righteous indignation and even allowed me to share some of my original poetry that bucked the system during the show…
Sometimes though, being rebellious is actually counterproductive and unlike my early-teen self, adulthood rebellion often brings harsh consequences.
From refusing to pay parking tickets, to deciding to go “off the grid” – you may find yourself behind bars, your wages being garnished or being labeled an untouchable by your friends and your family.
Sometimes, we also engage in little mini-rebellions. We spend our time indulging when perhaps we should be exercising self-control. “I DESERVE THIS NEW PURSE,” while credit card debt is mounting. “I’M GOING TO SURF THE NET,” while we have other major projects to do. “I’LL CLEAN OUT MY CAR OR MY CLOSET WHEN I FEEL LIKE IT,” while our lack of organization and clarity is causing us to miss important deadlines or lose valuable time searching… always searching for something we’ve “misplaced” (lost).
Historically, rebellion has worked for some people. When my husband was younger he decided he was going to pursue his passion for music rather than pursue the traditional 9 to 5. Fast forward many years and he has been able to thrive as an entrepreneur. His rebellion lead to career independence and freedom. We’ve all heard the stories of people like Steve Jobs, who are so moved by their convictions that they REFUSE to budge. In Steve’s case, it worked out and he created a technological mammoth that will long outlive him.
We have to be more sensitive about the rebellions we lead or participate in. If the rebellion is causing more harm than good and it is destroying some area of our lives, we MUST reconsider. If the rebellion is causing stress – which leads to high blood pressure and irritable nerve syndrome (a.k.a. Snapville USA) (I totally made that diagnosis up!), is it really worth it? Are you rebelling for the sake of being disagreeable or different? The best rebellions lead to POSITIVE change for ourselves and for others. Is your rebellion ruining you?