Rules are supposed to exist to teach and help us to live in a community or society. More often than not, rules today are arbirtraty with users deciding whether or not to follow them. That fails in the long term. Rules need to be strict. Consequences need to be fair. And those working with them do so best when they have a sense of humor instead of an iron fist.
Do you want to live in a society devoid of rules? I don’t. Even if legislators and legislation were to go by the wayside, I would still want rules to govern how humanity interacts with each other despite our differences.
Life and law sure would be a lot simpler if we just followed the Golden Rule and spent a bit of time worrying about how our actions might affect others negatively. Since that is about as likely as a Unicorn knocking on my door asking me to go for a ride, I think laws are useful.
But like any master teacher, whatever the rule, it needs to be fairly written and fairly administered. It’s easy to let the good student slide when they forget their homework or some other infraction, but it sends a clear message to the difficult student that you mean business when you dole out the same consequence to both. Many classes have been won and lost using or disregarding this principle.
And what is society but a huge classroom. Lots of different people with different interests trying to achieve the same end, survival at the best level possible while either taking care of or doing right by those that they care for and love.
In the classroom, and maybe in life, leaders and teachers need to think more about how they interact with all, not just those on the fringe. Too often though, the rich or powerful or cute, get out of consequences because they are rich and powerful and cute. This shouldn’t be the case and it is a part of the problem.
Students like strict and fair teachers. Students find them to be easier to learn from because they understand that there will be consequences to their actions that are doled out fairly. Students dislike wishy-washy teachers. Those who let things slide because in the end, students understand that there should be consequences for breaking rules.
Society seems to be the same. We want rules and we want them to be doled out fairly to all. When we break one, we don’t necessarily want the consequence, it is why we try to get out of punishment, but we know that we deserve to be punished for our actions.
Each year, drivers get worse. Language becomes more foul. More facts are disregarded. Because those who enforce them are bad at their jobs. They are not fair or strict unless they want to be. That is not how a healthy society runs.
A healthy society runs when, no matter who does what, they receive the same response. However, that’s not what we have and no where we are going.
We are building a society void of rules and self-governing due to those rules. WHat we will get is a society that is more vulgar, violent and harmful to each other.
It’s a bummer that the solution is so simple. Rules need to be strict. Consequences fairly doled out. And to make things easier for more, allow those administering the rules the ability to be funny or use humor to do their job.
I’ll leave you with one example. Speeding. There is a speed limit on both ends, too slow and too fast. Speeding kills if there is an accident. Truthfully, I don’t find a problem with someone going 200mph on a road with no cars. If they kill themselves, so what.
I have an issue with that driver feeling entitled to drive that speed around other drivers who are following the rules. You can work to change the rules, but until then, roads are a community. And until we put community back into society, we will continue to build a society of individuals who put their wants in front of others’ needs. It is clearly not sustainable and the end is the destruction of society.
Try electing leaders who are strict, fair and funny. Not those who make you feel good about cutting corners. Or not, but then you don’t have the right to complain when society becomes dog eat dog.