Walk On The Disobedient Side (Whether You Have Two Legs Or Four)

The human race has a long history of disobedience.  I mean, look at Adam and Eve from the Bible.  They were living the high life in the Garden of Eden, no cares, no worries (no clothes!) – until they couldn’t resist eating fruit from the one tree that God told them to stay away from.   Okay, so Satan tricked them, but still – they disobeyed and suffered the consequences.

Since then, it seems nothing is off-limits in terms of disobedience.  As soon as someone says we can’t do something, we do it anyway just to prove them wrong.  I’ve categorized my disobedience into two types:  internal defiance and external disobedience.

My internal defiance comes in the form of ignoring what I tell myself I need to do in order to accomplish my goals, all the while knowing there will be consequences.  Here are some examples:

  • I want to write, but I get caught up reading blogs or books instead – knowing that I’ll feel guilty later
  • I learn helpful writing “rules” and have the immediate urge to break them all – even though I know I’d be better off heeding the advice
  • I acknowledge that I need to exercise more, and then pass on my husband’s invitation to walk the dog with him – fully aware that I’ll berate myself for being lazy

Internal defiance is generally counter-productive, but external disobedience doesn’t always have to be.  Here are a couple examples of external disobedience:

  • Example 1:

“Hey, I bet you can’t eat that whole habanero pepper.”  

<snort> “I could if I wanted to.” 

“Nah, you’re too much of a sissy.”

“Oh yeah?  I’ll show you.”  Eats the pepper, teary-eyed with beads of sweat popping out along the hairline.  Chugging milk, water, anything liquid to ease the burn.

This kind of disobedience isn’t productive, unless the goal was to feel like you just swallowed a fireball. 

  • Example 2:

“You’ll never be able to write a book.”

“Why not?”

“You’ll get bored and give up before you get that far.”

“No way.  I’ll finish.”  One year later, provides a draft for the doubter to read. 

In this case, disobeying the prediction of failure is a good motivator to succeed and finish that book.  See, disobedience isn’t always bad, and the consequences aren’t necessarily negative.

Humans aren’t the only species with an external disobedience problem.  I don’t know if it makes you feel better, but cats also have a disobedient nature, despite the consequences.  It probably says a lot about my personality, but I find it oddly comforting.  I’m going to share a story illustrating their blatant rebellious streak:

We keep Sammy and Lizzy (aka the “kittens” that are now cats) separate from Cybil (aka Queen Cat who almost died when she stopped eating in protest when we brought the kittens home.)  Cybil stays in the master bedroom that she lets my husband and I share with her (how gracious) and we keep the door closed when the kitten-cats are roaming.

If that door isn’t latched, one of them (usually Lizzy) will sneak into our room. 

Sneaky Cat



 If the door is latched, they will wait outside the door and run between our legs when we open it.  They repeatedly do this, even though they know what’s waiting on the other side:

You Are Dismissed...

Crazy right?  I fully understand where the saying “curiosity killed a cat” came from.  I also appreciate why cats are rumored to have nine lives…because they will need every one of them 🙂

I suspect there were cats in the Garden of Eden, and perhaps they ate some of the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  I’m pretty sure there weren’t any dogs in the Garden, because my dogs don’t exhibit this blatant disregard of house rules.

Is your disobedience generally productive or destructive?  Feel free to share your tips for channeling disobedience into positive results.


23 thoughts on “Walk On The Disobedient Side (Whether You Have Two Legs Or Four)

  1. duke1959 January 12, 2011 / 6:29 AM

    What a great post.

    • jannatwrites January 12, 2011 / 6:11 PM

      Thanks, Duke! I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  2. Aligaeta January 12, 2011 / 7:14 AM

    This was probably your first piece of advice to me: Write, write, write, and don’t edit as you go alone. Well I edited the shit out of it and lost my writers voice. Then, another approach which resulted in Happy Writing! Always thankful for the encouragement from you and others. I don’t need the negative forces, there are voices inside my head for that.

    Great examples given here and cute photos too.

    • jannatwrites January 12, 2011 / 6:14 PM

      It’s hard not to edit, but it’s so much better if we can resist the urge! If it makes for a happier writing experience, that makes the restraint worth it. You have those negative voices in your head too? I thought it was just me 😉

      I’m glad you liked the examples and the photos, Aligaeta. I’m trying to use more of my own pictures, but I’m not a photographer, so it makes it a bit of a challenge. Oh well, challenges are good!

      • kate January 15, 2011 / 4:48 PM

        Ha ha ha. Is this one of those disobediance things. I dream of being a writer and someone else edit, however I followed advise to do otherwise for some stories. Painful though rewarding. 🙂

  3. Re Gypsy January 12, 2011 / 5:14 PM

    Hey, rules are meant to be broken ;o) That type of attitude is what ‘can’ make you into a great writer ;o)

    • jannatwrites January 12, 2011 / 6:17 PM

      I agree that you do have to take some risks (which may involve breaking rules) to become a great writer, Re Gypsy. Now, how to figure out WHICH rules to break?

  4. Cities of the Mind January 12, 2011 / 6:09 PM

    Wait? There’s another side?

    Ha! Love the cats. They know who owns the place.

    • jannatwrites January 12, 2011 / 6:20 PM

      Ha! Good one, Cities. So you’re not the obedient type, huh? Somehow I’m not surprised, you know, with your summer travel adventures and all 🙂

      I’m glad you enjoyed the cats…I get frustrated with them sometimes because they can hear, but they just don’t listen. The cats do have a sweet deal: I pay the bills and they get to lay all over the place.

  5. Artswebshow January 12, 2011 / 6:18 PM

    I’m never disobedient or at least i can wrangle it that way. lol
    I’m one of those annoying people who have an answer for everything.
    The other two cats just want to play but they might have to be careful the other one looks like she means business. lol

    • jannatwrites January 12, 2011 / 6:46 PM

      Hmmm…you’re not disobedient – ever? Are you in denial? Wait, you’ve got an answer for that, right? 🙂

      The other cats know that Cybil gets a little testy. It’s kind of a sick game with them. They like to push Cybil until she gets mad. Trust me, we don’t want Cybil mad!

  6. Addy January 13, 2011 / 8:13 AM

    Truly enjoyed your post Janna! I really like the way you categorized it as internal and external.. Although I have to add that internal factors can be controlled to an extent rather than external factors… No wonder they say “Rules are meant to be broken”…

    Best Wishes,

    • jannatwrites January 13, 2011 / 3:59 PM

      I’m happy that you enjoyed it, Addy!

      I agree that we do have some control over our internal disobedience. And, although we cannot control external factors, we can control how we react to them, which impacts our degree of disobedience. So in effect, we have control over our own actions regardless of whether they are brought about from internal or external factors. Good thing that there are plenty of rules to break 🙂

  7. dorcas January 14, 2011 / 3:30 AM

    Lovely post. n your cats looks adorable. We had couple of cats once and they behaved exactly the same . Like they own the place. But the kittens are real cute to watch. 🙂

    Love your work.

    • jannatwrites January 14, 2011 / 8:19 PM

      Thank you for you nice comment 🙂 It must be in cats’ genetic code to enslave people to them. Now that I think about it, I’m not really sure why I’ve always liked cats so much!

  8. My Camera, My Friend January 14, 2011 / 6:49 PM

    So true about the cats. I have troble keeping me felines off the table. They know they’re not supposed to be up there, but they do it anyway.

    • jannatwrites January 14, 2011 / 8:28 PM

      Ha! Those people that claim their cats don’t climb on the tables just aren’t paying enough attention 🙂 It’s a game to them.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment!

  9. kate January 15, 2011 / 4:45 PM

    secondary desires and resistant attitudes, reflective of an emotional intelligence of two year olds……we are a sick society though you make it seem funny…you did make me look on the bright side, as if to heal we need positivity to grow out of this if to evolve on the collective conscious

  10. Beatrice Prasek January 16, 2011 / 11:20 AM

    I’m new here as of late last night. I am happy to read my first post on this site. The topic of cats is right up my alley. Just before I picked up my laptop, one of my cats snuck up to my coffee cup on the counter, and took a sip. I was washing up the opposite side of the cupboard. Oh, they are a naughty crew. And so quick.

    Loved your write-up. You do have a wonderful voice and style. I wanted to comment on the person who said she edits her work until her voice is lost in the struggle. I can fully understand the worry of doing such a thing. It’s really difficult when and how much to do when it comes to editing. I guess we can all identify.

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 11:48 PM

      Thank you, Beatrice. I’m glad this post struck something in you. Cats can be sneaky, that’s for sure! (And the last thing they need is coffe :))

      Editing takes as much (or more) practice than writing. It’s good to know that others struggle with the same thing, so we can lighten up on ourselves!

  11. rohitmaiya January 17, 2011 / 5:35 AM

    Another good piece.

    You are creative not just in writing, but also creative in selecting the topics.

    • jannatwrites January 17, 2011 / 10:08 AM

      Thank you so much, rohitmaiya. If you keep paying me all of these compliments, I might end up with a big head! Aw, I’m just kidding, my inner voice would never let that happen…

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