You will not achieve anything unless you are capable of this fundamental act.

As a child, you excelled at it. You snuck out at night, smoked when you weren’t supposed to, and made out with someone you weren’t supposed to.

None of this killed you. In fact, the more you disobeyed, the more interesting you became.

As time went on, your patterns became more rigid. You disobeyed less. You started “figuring things out.” You stopped falling and getting hurt, and started standing tall– perhaps a little too tall.

Disobedience, in the beginning, creates independence. But the later acts of disobedience that most of us perform don’t creating anything. They’re small and pathetic. They are useless acts of control performed to create an illusion of agency that no longer exists.

What you need now is a big act of disobedience.

You need to see how bad the consequences really are.

You need to see that you can live through it.






16 responses to “DISOBEY”

  1. Matthew Avatar

    I don’t have any use for convention, and I never have … but disobedience … that’s the next step, isn’t it?

    Outstanding observation, my friend.

  2. Kyle Reed Avatar

    It is interesting that we live in a world that constantly preaches conformity but worships rebellion.

    We fall into the system of the average and mediocre but want to be the rebel the wild card.

    Time to start stirring some stuff up

  3. Ricardo Bueno Avatar

    The way I see it, quit waiting for a permission slip to do something epic with your life.

  4. Michele Welch Avatar

    Love it Julian! You’re awesome. :*

    AMEN to exploring your naughty side… time to break some rules. In an extraordinary and responsible way of course. 😉

  5. Kai Avatar

    “What you need is a big act of disobedience!”

    I love that line and it scares the shit out of me at the same time.

    I guess it’s time to start walking towards the fear. 😛

  6. Judy Helfand Avatar

    The other day I happened upon a PBS fundraiser which was a rerun with Peter, Paul and Mary. What a team. I think of all the “albums” that I still own and their “Album 1700” is tops.
    But back to the other day, Peter, Paul and Mary sang a song that was written by Anne Feeney: “Have You Been to Jail for Justice.” The words struck me, here is one verse:

    “You law abiding citizens, come listen to this song
    Laws were made by people, and people can be wrong
    Once unions were against the law, but slavery was fine
    Women were denied the vote and children worked the mine
    The more you study history the less you can deny it
    A rotten law stays on the books til folks like us defy it.”


  7. Rebecca Avatar

    This is spot on, thank you! I’ve reached the ripe old age of 48 and have disobeyed more ‘rules’ these past 2 years than in my life to date! I’ve ditched the marriage that was making me unhappy, I’ve stood up and said ‘I’m a writer’, I’ve dated men much younger than myself………..I hope in my ‘disobedience’ to teach my children (21,18 and 13) that it’s safe to do the same – outside of our comfort zone is where we truly grow.

  8. Ryan Riehl Avatar

    When I was a kid, I was terrible at disobeying.

    Guess I’d better learn as an adult.

  9. Becky Avatar

    People always say, “stay out of trouble now.”. You are right, why? Get in a little trouble……for the fun of it!

  10. Tomas Avatar

    Thank you for so deep verses. While reading you I identified myself with EACH Your Word. Now, in the light of your post, while thinking about my personal disobedience, I sensed myself as if exposed naked to the world…and the miracle happened – the evaluation of the personal “achievements” gifted the precious lesson of humility to me. Thank you for that tasty fruit (the moral of the article) I got the unforgettable lesson, was guarded from depression and wakened up to more conscious sharing of my gratitude for being alive.
    I would like to re-write you on Inspirational Quotes page on my blog Art by Tomas. Can I?

  11. Amy Tobin Avatar

    Maybe I’m just old, or maybe it’s due to ‘where I am at’ right now, but I have an issue with undefined ‘disobedience.’ What Dr. King did – Civil Disobedience; Absolutely Admirable. Thumbing your nose at civility… not so much.

    I never disdain those who cannot afford to be disobedient. As I child I lived a precarious life; to be safe I could not disobey. I know adults who, due to their responsibilities (i.e. children) cannot take their job and shove it. They must put up with insufferable bosses, low pay, and a million other indignities. But they do it for the ones they love.

    THEY are the ones I hold the deepest respect for; their sacrifices are tremendous and silent.

  12. Lesa McMahon Avatar

    I’ve tried to create a home environment that doesn’t promote either obedience or disobedience. Now, as for society, well, I hope that I’ve instilled in my daughter a will to always do what’s right for herself, even if it flies in the face of the standard or status quo.

  13. Peter Paluska Avatar

    Go by your intuition, do what you know is right – if that involves disobeying, then by all means!

  14. dang tin Avatar

    People always say, “stay out of trouble now.”. You are right, why? Get in a little trouble……for the fun of it!

  15. Kris Romaniuk Avatar

    You’re sound more and more like Mr. Neitzsche everyday, Mr. Smith. “The greatest fruitfulness to existence is to live dangerously.”

  16. Karl, the Avatar
    Karl, the

    Was this an order?
    Anyway…no! I won’t!

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