1. Authority (definition)
Think of a time when you were doing something really fun until somebody came and just, well, ruined it. Maybe it was teenage you in your bedroom with the music cranked so loud the windows rattled and the water on your nightstand did that Jurassic Park thing. You’d get that feeling like you were invincible or magical… until your mom or dad comes in with that look and turns down the volume.
Unless you had an AMAZING relationship with your parents, everything changed as soon as the door cracked open. Sure, you were probably a rebel and turned the music back up as soon as they’re gone (maybe a bit louder, even). But even so, the magic is gone.
Your parents were responsible for providing you with the bedroom in question, and probably even your stereo, your music, and even the retrospectively mortifying clothes you were wearing (until twenty years later, at which point: awesome). Plus… They’re. Your. Parents. So, what they say… it matters to you. Why? Because they can give or take away things you want simply based on their role in your life. That’s authority. Oh, and you also probably love them.
You’ll meet lots of people with authority throughout your life. People whose social or professional roles put them in a position where they can give or take away things that impact your life. Teachers, bosses, politicians, police officers, store managers, rock stars, that cool guy at the pizza shop who gives you extra mushrooms for free and you give him a big tip, your hairdresser, etc.
Some people have authority because of their job or their relationship to you. Just like your mom or dad. In theory you should do what they want even if it doesn’t make you happy at all. But one of the funny things about having authority is that it doesn’t guarantee that people will do what you ask them to (see: the parents of those of you who turned the music back up). The ability to actually get people to do what you want is something different (see Power). Authority just means people are SUPPOSED to do what you want them to do.