Montessori Glossary Community Project

Obedience

Obedience

The word obedience has a background in Latin and Old French, meaning the practice or virtue of submission to a higher power or to be compliant. Montessori does not use it all too often, so it stands out when she does. It is mentioned in the same sentence as ‘discipline’ and forms a vital key to what she refers to as reaching the two purposes in life. The word obedience has an outward ring to it, and yet it becomes evident from her work that she means this both ways. Obedience to the task at hand, the set goal, the lesson to be learned, the inner voice/inner leader. Perhaps today we say, you should stay true to yourself. However, Montessori does not teach the egocentric path of life or spirituality. We live here together and together we are responsible for this planet and each other. So obedience is also very much related to the cosmic task. It requires obedience, for as Montessori eloquently puts it ‘the whole universe groans and travels together’ into the birth of a new world. This also means choosing for the other sometimes, or sacrificing something personal in order to help the other. Obedience is a word, which in Montessori, is not blind, but dares to see, embrace and act. It is proactive, involved and dares to share, follow, lead, look after, being looked after. It is a careful instrument of great power.

Date of creation
11-Ago-2023
Accepted term
11-Ago-2023
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