Parents are always talking about getting kids to be more obedient. But I can’t stop thinking that the handful of successes and adventures I’ve had only happened when I stopped listening. It was when I stopped worrying about being wrong, that I started finally doing something right.

So I hope you do test my limits, challenge your teachers and know when to tell someone above you to back down. Because there will be plenty of times you shouldn’t listen.

Don’t listen when I say “hold my hand” going up the stairs, when you know you’re strong enough without my help.

Don’t listen when I say “be careful” at the playground, when you have faith in where your feet will carry you and how long your arms will hold you.

Don’t listen when I call out “slow down,” when you know I’ve just forgotten how awesome the wind feels in your hair.

Don’t listen when I say, “you should save for an emergency,” when you already have an itinerary for backpacking around Europe.

Don’t listen when I say to “go over them,” when you are confident you already have the test questions down pat.

Don’t listen when I say, “you’ll make the team next year,” when you’re already plotting how to become the captain by then.

Don’t listen when I say, “that doesn’t match,” when you are purposefully expressing yourself, mixing patterns and making a statement.

Don’t listen to me because I do hope you dirty the legs of your pants hopping in puddles, cut your own hair while playing stylist and paint your bedroom walls orange during an artistic rant.

Don’t listen, speak up. Tell off the class bully and then the boss who wants you to work late for no pay. Tell them that you are worth more and be unapologetic about your immense worth. Go ahead and act out, rebel, talk back, stand up and make a scene, all for what you know is right. Be anything but obedient.

(originally posted on

Write A Comment