If you're an authority figure or have had a bad run-in with a figure in authority, listen up. I've had a bad experience or two with authority figures who abuse their power, and it's sickening. You may have never abused your authority, but it's easy to do. Just hear me out.

People are placed in positions of authority to mentor others, enforce justice fairly, and make decisions for the good of the whole. Authority figures are supposed to be looked up to and admired by those who report to them. People with authority should use it in a respectable, admirable way, without using it to their own advantage.

To those who abuse their authority, shame on you. Shame on you for taking advantage of your power and for using it to your own advantage. Shame on you for being quick to judge, quick to condemn, and quick to convict. How dare you think that your power gives you the right to tear other people down to ease your own insecurities and to distract from your own faults.

Authority is not an excuse to tear people down and to build yourself up. It's not an excuse for you to flex your powers and to punish people for no reason. It should not enable you to scrutinize people, waiting for an opportunity to reprimand them. Authority is not something that should be abused or used for selfish reasons.

If you're in authority and you find yourself listening to only one side of a story or punishing someone without giving them an opportunity to speak up for themselves, you're in the wrong. A person in authority should be slow to judge, quick to listen, never showing favoritism or malice.

A bad run-in with an authority figure can leave you confused, disappointed, and hurt. It can leave you with a mistrust of every other authority figure you come into contact with, and it can leave you feeling as though you have to watch your every move to avoid another false accusation and wrongful punishment.

After my own bad experience, I dealt with months and months of self-doubt and hurt, feeling as though I was a horrible person because I was punished for something I didn't do. Years later, I still fear false accusations and certain situations simply because one woman abused her authority and tore me down instead.

If this sounds familiar to you, let it go. People with power will abuse it. Authority figures will make bad decisions, and they will let you down. Learn from it. Learn how NOT to act, and grow stronger because of your bad experience. And one day, when you have power of your own, use it for good.