In a world where dominance and submission balance, the one resounding factor is power. Regardless of your role, we all seek the feeling of being in control. In order to prevent anarchy from wreaking havoc, society has set forth law. Rules regulate what we should and shouldn’t do. What we are allowed to partake in and punished for what we pursue. With so much guidance keeping balance afloat, rebellion is often a means of potential.

There is nothing more exhilarating than doing the opposite of what we are told. To march to the beat of your own drum enables a sense of control. The ability to do what we want the way we choose.

Recalcitrance can be as tame as wearing fishnets with jean shorts cut high enough up the thigh to provide more of a statement than coverage. While abiding the law, it proclaims a stance of free thinking and rebellion. It is a safe way to rebel allowing the peace of mind that consequence cannot go much further than a frustrated parent. Certain fashion statements or even mild behavior can turn heads with shock without facing a damp cell and bunk. Then, sometimes one pushes the envelope and avoids repercussion. This is where the ultimate danger lies.

There is a thrill that comes with any danger. An adrenaline junkie doesn’t jump out of an airplane for a better view of the city, but to feel the rush of knowing that at any moment, their parachute could fail. There is no actual hope for death, but being on the brink of the end sends a surge of epinephrine through ones veins. Acting on a wrong knowing that you could get caught allows a similar rush. No one ever wants to actually be penalized, but it’s a risk associated with the high. However, just like any gateway drug, eventually, that high just isn’t enough.

As a child, we all tested our parent’s patience. Defiance was an assessment to see just how much we could get away with. Once established where the line must be drawn, we dabbled with disobeying, and even after being punished, felt the satisfaction of having misbehaved. In most cases, a spanking or public scolding was enough to prevent us from acting on further deviance. However, you would only get in trouble if you got caught. It was then that the game of insubordination was born.

The most common displays of disobedience among us are somewhat limited. Truthfully, it comes down to how much you are willing to risk. Ditching class could land you in detention whereas cheating on your spouse could end your marriage. An hour after school will be forgotten in a week. A failed marriage will permanently define a part of your life forever. I think it goes without saying that some endeavors are not worth the temporary buzz. Then, comes a quite hazardous expression; “What do I have to lose?”

When resisting authority becomes the only thing left to live for, recalcitrance holds a much grimmer connotation. At the highest reach for zenith, anything and everything goes. As the perpetrator, the only rule is, there are no rules. Until they are caught, the game continues. Infamous participants including Jack the Ripper, Black Beard, and Bundy hold world records for their so called “achievements.” They created the Olympics of mutiny. By becoming breaking news and leaving legends in the pages of history, they achieved what all rebels seek, attention. The only difference between their sickening tales of horror and you going fifteen over the speed limit, is where you chose to draw the line, and they chose to cross it.


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