Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Laws of Decency

This post is about people who say, "I hate rules."  (Often said in a superior, I'm so important I don't have to follow rules tone)  I'm a traditionalist, and I usually follow rules.  I believe most rules have a reason for being, and most often those reasons are based on sound concepts.  There are grammar and punctuation rules.  Traffic rules.  Mathematics rules.  Construction and architecture rules. And many more rules too numerous to mention.  These rules provide sound guidance.  They are there for our safety (construction architecture, traffic, instruction manuals), for clear communication and expression of ideas (grammar, punctuation), for calculation, accounting, inventory (mathematics) and so on.

Yes, many of our greatest advancements have been made because someone chose to ignore the rules and do it their way.  Humanitarian advancements have been made because someone ignored the rules and pushed for change.  Think women's right to vote, or Civil Rights.

But rules have their place, and those who whine about hating rules get no sympathy from me.  And in this case, I'm not talking about arbitrary or just plain stupid rules, and I'm not even talking about the above-mentioned rules.  I'm talking about the most basic social rules that govern our lives and how we interact with others.  In other words, decency.  Like not running a red light.  Like waiting your turn.  Like saying please and thank you.  Like showing up on time.  Like respecting the rights of others.  Like being honest.

I wonder what happened.  I wonder why kids growing up today seem to lack a conscience.  I wonder about their parents, who never taught them the basic principles of social conduct.  I wonder why 8-year-old boys are raping 7-year-old girls.  I wonder why 12-year-old kids gang up on a schoolmate and kill him because he's different.  I wonder why a 15-year-old girl suffocates her newborn and puts it in the dumpster.  I wonder why a group of 14-year-old boys kill an innocent jogger by stomping him to death.

I wonder. 

And I worry.


News From the Holmestead said...

All right, this is downright weird. Nina, I accidentally deleted your post, or so I thought. Actually, I tried to delete someone else's comment, but it deleted yours, too.

So I wrote a comment myself, apologizing. But when I posted it, your comment appeared by magic! So I deleted my apology, but it made your comment disappear again! I don't know what gives. Maybe when I post this new comment from me, yours will magically appear again!

NinaP said...

And like magic, it did! :-)

Gotta love technology.

News From the Holmestead said...

Ha, who says you gotta love technology, Nina?!!! This confounds me. But at least your original message reappeared.

I don't know who the other person was. They apparently wanted to delete their comment after posting it, as it said it was deleted by the commenter. So all I was trying to do was tidy up a bit. That'll teach me!