The only authority I respect lies within self-actualized beings representing themselves genuinely rather than through manipulative illusion or honorary delegation.
For many years I regarded paintings of dogs playing poker as cartoonish silliness until I caught on to a deeper humor ranking among the greatest surrealism of all time; there’s not one bone in the body of a dog that can bluff! Dogs are the epitome of self-actualized beings within the domestic scene. Every being in what we consider natural wilderness is authentic.
Such examples are fewer and further between domesticated human beings not already culled and locked away in burgeoning jails and mental institutions. In four years of college I had only one teacher whose authority I recognized because he taught Strength of Materials wearing the dusty clothes he wore while walking a cantilevered I-beam on a construction job he was working on just before class. He brought interest in tension and compression to life more by his body language than the desiccated text ever could.
Some claim acquired authority based on books they’ve read, degrees they've been awarded, marks they’ve made, gods they've worshipped, clubs they’ve joined, elections they’ve won, money they’ve got or plans they’ve hatched for our future. Western civilization is based on such claimers successfully awing the rest of us. Those remaining outside this bond of gullibility exude the authenticity that escapes those testimonies to elsewhere by genuinely representing themselves; self-actualizing before one’s very eyes without needing to claim anything.
Note: This is a republishing of my latest post on the new blog, "…kindness of strangers," in a blatant attempt to get old readers to follow this link back to the future of this page.