I like people that speak with authority. Authority comes in many forms but we tend to officially recognize only 3 as valid.
The first is natural ability. We all recognize individual brilliance when it shines among us and we tend to milk everything we can out of it, in itself rather brilliant. These are the headlights of humanity, the problem is we rarely use them until we’ve driven off the road in the dark and gotten lost. When the world does decide to recognize them they become intellectual rock stars, often “the world’s leading authority” in their chosen field. Quite often they’re proven flat out wrong by the next leading authority but it doesn’t matter. They weren’t right by virtue of being correct, they were right by authority.
The second is experience. We recognize all experience as valid, but only recognize it as a valid authority when the lessons it has to teach have been successfully learned. When someone has successfully navigated a situation you’re in, not just eeked thru but used it to maximum advantage, we automatically recognize their authority in the matter. This is huge for me because I don’t know nor have I ever known anyone doing what I’m doing with my life, let alone been successful at it. There have however, been people or things in nature that have successfully negotiated similar situations along the road and that’s been a major help.
The third is direct authority, the authority of authorship. If it’s your story and you’re its main author, then you are the leading authority of that story. You set the rules and boundaries of the story that make it your story and keep it going the way you want. This is the authority of a Host and where the notion of “authorities” as enforcers of laws come into play. Authorities in any world or reality make sure that you don’t do anything outside of what their story can contain.
This is the type of authority we rebel against, because the story being told isn’t currently going quite the way we want it to. We rebel to push the author(ities) to expand the story to include us. If the rebellion is crushed by the authorities then we have to find a different way of presenting our case. If we exhaust ourselves at that to no avail, then we have the choice to either leave that story and make up our own somewhere else, or attempt a revolution to change the author(ities). Make sure you can tell a whole story, if your story sucks then your new world is either going to be small and lonely or your revolution is going to fall on its face before marching a single step toward victory.
The highest recognized authority would have to be all 3 of these. The good news is we’re all eminently qualified if we work together.