First on the list of hazardous attitudes in Aviation is anti-authority – the rebel attitude. So why is a rebel attitude a bad thing? Can you imagine a controller saying, “You have traffic at 12:00, turn right ten degrees,” and the pilot saying, “Don’t tell me what to do. I want to keep flying straight ahead.” That, in aviation terminology, is a hazardous attitude.
The Rebel Attitude
Modern culture glorifies the rebel attitude, and in fact, the American experiment is built on the foundation that we will live free or die. This would be called “Rebel With a Cause.” In “From Woodstock to Eternity,” the hippie mindset promoted the cause of brotherhood, peace and love while rebelling against straight society. Dustin Morgan imagined that the rock festival in Bull Island would be an example of how it would be if Woodstock Nation took over. That is, until the whole thing fell into a quagmire of narcotic drug use and filth.
As for rebellion in general, in the many and varied ways we function in life, the devil is in the details. Defying society, the police, the teacher, or whatever is one thing. Refusing to comply with instructions while operating high precision industrial equipment is another. One may make you feel like you’re the man, while the other can get you killed.
Born a Rebel
What is the first word out a baby’s mouth? All parents know this one… NO! The truth is, we are all born with rebellious spirits, to one degree or another. In fact, all these hazardous attitudes are inherent in our nature, and it is up to us to take control of them and manage them. That is why the FAA includes the study of hazardous attitudes as part of pilot training. You have to know they are there before you can overcome them.
Rebel Without a Cause
This is the one that gets us in the most trouble. It makes us feel independent, cool, and self important, because it is based on pride. Unfortunately, pride and self exaltation ruin marriages, cause problems at work, and make us look like egotistical jerks to everybody else. It seems the only rebels who think they look cool are the rebels themselves. Also, rebels for rebel’s sake think they are on top of their world, but in reality, they seldom reach their full potential. This is due to the fact that rebellion, by definition, refuses the instruction that guarantees growth. It is a huge boulder on our path to success.
Rebellion Stifles Growth
The anti-authority – rebel attitude actually strips us of warnings and information that keep us safe and improve our lives. Proverbs 1:5 says, “A wise man will hear and increase learning…” So what is the definition of a wise man? A wise man hears, meaning he is open to instruction. Proverbs 10:8 “The wise in heart will receive commands.” A wise man also fears the Lord and departs from evil, according to Proverbs 14:16. These qualities are essential to grow and achieve heights people could never imagine. Those who reject these principles pass on towards their own destruction.
Rebels Reap the Consequences
Rebels are called Fools in Proverbs, and the Scripture has plenty of practical insight into the mindset of a fool. In contrast to the wise who receive commands, the fool “despises wisdom and instruction,” (Proverbs 1:7). The consequences for despising instruction are spelled out in Proverbs 13:18 “Poverty and shame will come to him who disdains correction.” Poverty is not always lack of money. It also shows itself in quality of life and self image. You can be poor in marriage, poor in attitude, or poor in life experiences. Shame comes in jail, in divorce, in rejection, and in lost opportunities.
Make 2021 a Year of Wisdom
In every ground school class I have taught, I end with a life lesson to build three things in their character that will ensure their success. Knowledge, Discretion and Humility. You build knowledge by receiving instruction. The definition of discretion is knowing what not to say or do. Finally, humility is the foundation of servant leadership. More on these attributes to come.