Tuesday, December 20, 2005


By Patrick Davis

     Rules are the threads that bind the multi-colored fabric of our society together.  Yet they are hated by most of us privately.  How many of us would gush over the fact that the speed limit is 65 miles per hour?  Rules are there, to be observed, to build fences, to force respect and toleration, but never to be gushed over.
     Imagine that you were living 4000 years ago.  Your leader has gone on a retreat and he comes back with a list of ten commandments, most of which begin thou shalt not. . .   Are you going to gush over the rules?  I expect that most of us have remarkably similar reactions to being forced to conform to something we may find grating on our natural desires.  
     Rules:  we know the reason for rules, at least in our finer moments we acknowledge their justness.  In our weaker moments we do remember Mom’s reason for doing something: “Because I said so.”  When you were little did that raise the hairs on the back of your neck the way that it did for me?
     I have found, purely from empirical lifelong observation, that everyone seems to have it in for a certain rule; there is one rule that incenses them beyond reason.  It may be the speed limit.  It may be waiting in a long line.  It may be when he notices the cell phone being used in the car next to him.   But one rule will make anyone sometimes go ballistic.
     But today I wonder what it is exactly that brings our obstinacy to the forefront with that certain rule. Is it perhaps a sign of our weak conscience? We are hard against one thing that we ourselves would never be caught doing, but all the while there are a hundred things equally as bad that we do everyday. “Before you find the speck in your brother’s eye, take care to remove the beam from your own eye.”

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