Authority is defined to as the power to give orders and make decisions. When someone has an authority, they have the right and power to do something. Authority can be derived from historical events, or from position. The historical aspect comes in when an individual has historically worked their way to the top. On the other hand, when a person holds a certain position in an organization due to their abilities or experience, they are considered as authorities. The nature of authority takes many forms. As such, people understand the whole topic differently.
The first nature of authority is that of mastery. It is achieved when people do things with diligence and discipline, hence earning mastery over them. A lot of knowledge is achieved after doing something many times over, which makes it possible for individuals to become masters of those things. A teacher who has taught the same topic for a long time automatically becomes an authority because they have mastered all the principles of the topic.
The second nature of authority is arbitrary. It is deployed by people who have more power, who are bigger, or richer than others. Bosses, policemen, teachers and other people with position in the pecking order exercise this kind of authority. More often than not, people resent arbitrary authority because they have no ability to question it. An individual has to comply with it even when they are not willing to.
Nature of authority can take the scientific form. Scientists spend years studying different topics than many people do not care to. After several tests and team work, they come up theories and sometimes facts. It would be hard to dispute such an authority unless an individual is willing to go through the long process that the scientists have been through. True scientists do not promote myths or selfish ambitions. As such, when they finally come up with something, many people respect it.
People will remain in a position of authority depending on how they exercise it. People who only use the authority to achieve personal goals are resented while those who promote the welfare of others will remain in the powerful positions for a long time. In fact, many people feel that authority has to be earned. This means that being in a position of authority does not necessarily mean that people consider and respect one being an authority over them. Arbitrary nature of authority will be met with rebellion and resentment, while respect is given to the scientific and mastery forms. Therefore, people view authority differently depending on how it is exercised.
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