We all do it: behave when being watched.
And this is nothing new. Glaucon, the cynic in Plato’s Republic, told Socrates that people act ethically only when they thought someone was watching. Now researchers are finally putting teeth to this claim.
Early last year a group of scientists from Newcastle University ran an experiment where they hung up posters of an eye in a school cafeteria. They also hung up posters of flowers. The scientists counted the number of people who threw away their trash versus those who didn’t.
Twice as many people cleaned up after themselves when the big eye was watching when it wasn’t.
Compliance and Submission Are Synonymous
That is compliance. But it is also submission.
See, if you snooped around a dictionary you’d come up with similar descriptions for each term.
The act of conforming, acquiescing, or yielding.
A tendency to yield readily to others, especially in a weak and subservient way.
Cooperation or obedience.
To give over or yield to the power or authority of another (often used reflexively).
To allow oneself to be subjected to some kind of treatment
There is, however, a difference when it comes down to Jesus Christ. Let me explain.
Where Compliance and Submission Are NOT Synonymous
A good friend of mine pointed out after I wrote The Joy of Being a Slave to Christ and The Criminal as Metaphor for Religious Hypocrite that it seemed like a good time to spell out the difference between submission and compliance.
I seemed to be suggesting differences. Why not make it explicit? Okay, so how about this: the slave of Christ submits while the religious hypocrite complies.
For the neatnicks in the house, here’s how it plays out in two columns:
(See The White Bucket Is a Stark Reminder of Our Wicked Hearts to understand what I mean by “white bucket.”)
I confess, I am bending the denotation (the direct or explicit meaning) of the two terms for my own purposes. I think that is okay because the connotations (what people generally think about a word) are different.
Otherwise my friend wouldn’t have seen a difference. Nor would I have subconciously suggested a difference. I mean it just feels like compliance and submission refer to two different types of behavior, no?
Share your thoughts. Brutal and all.
If you liked what you read subscribe to Fallen and Flawed. Then share on Facebook and Twitter