Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Could a world with no rules be best?

If you were to wake up tomorrow and discover that you were alone in the world, with all the parking space, the roads, paths, shopping space and everything else there for you to use alone, what would you do?

Many people would definitely “do things their way”.

I, for one, would drive through a red light or drive in the wrong lane, which will not be wrong then.

I would conveniently enjoy my shopping without enduring any queues.
Imagine all the shops and supermarkets all to myself and with doors open, too! No one inside.

I would also worry less about who I hit on the sidewalk, swinging my arms as I please.

Think of it more; the 10 o’clock curfew at home would be gone, no reporting for work at 8 every morning or, better still, no reporting for work at all!
No rules to break and no toes to step on.

Freedom! All the freedom one wants but alone in the world.
The great thing to come from this set up would be not obeying anyone or care what “other people” say when you walk out of the supermarket without paying for your groceries.

You would not worry over your mother or father when its past curfew; even better, you get no grey hairs over thoughts of being grounded. You get away without doing your homework, and you choose not to go to school for the day.

Laws are formulated so that we share the freedom available and not let have one person enjoying all the freedom at the expense of others.

Laws limit our freedoms so that others may have some freedom as well.
Good idea, but still we curtail our personal freedoms so that others may have theirs.
It is called ‘order’.

Morality is the one thing that an individual learns as they grow up. It too has its own curtailments so that we do not offend others and, especially, Our Lord. But still, morality too remains a thief of our liberties as we avoid irritating the next person by not doing those things that we want to do but wouldn’t dare do because if it does not offend my neighbor, it offends God.
Morality has to do with character, mannerism, conduct, right or wrong and authority.

A lot of people today lead their lives under the pretext that they have to do good for the sake of the next person, whereas, on the other hand, there are dozens of people who lead their lives not caring who says what.

How many of us have walked out of the shop without paying their dues or driven through a red light and just broke a rule because they felt like it? The question is not why; it is what if it was only you and there was no attendant in the shop, and if it was only you using the same road, stopping at the same traffic lights just because the light has turned red?

And, have you looked at a No Entry sign and just went through? Worse still, have you fought over having done wrong, your argument being that you don’t know what is wrong with taking a pen that was not yours from a colleague’s desk?

Some people believe that morality or rules or the law are meant to be upheld by religious people. A lot of people I know who are lawbreakers/offenders or have raw attitudes and simply believe in immorality are not religious people.

If non-religious people don’t care about rules or being moral, would religious people care about them if there was no pastor or if they existed in the absence of their brethren?
I tend to believe that it would be a case of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden in the absence of their Maker and Master.

My mom taught me that it was wrong to stay out late; I was spanked for not making it home on time after school. She instilled some values and laws that I uphold up to this day, except when it comes to staying out late.
In early primary school, she would use a hard sole sandal against my behind for punishment.

I learnt from her as she later disclosed that she was taught not to let her thighs or any other part of her body that should be covered out in the open.

When she bought me a short black skirt, which rested just above my knees, I spent my adolescent years wearing the skirt but on minimal occasions since I was uncomfortable whenever I used it.

Surprisingly, I don’t have a problem buying a short dress or skirt today. I even wear it when I visit home and my mother has come to accept it.

But the world is full of limitations that are meant to make us live peacefully together.

But sometimes I wonder why we have to give up so much of our freedoms in order to accommodate the next person.

Take driving, for example. This is one aspect of our lives that single-handedly takes so much of our freedoms away from us.

Don’t Enter. One Way. No U-Turn. Stop. Keep Left. Keep Right. No Speeding. No Spitting. No Smoking. No Standing. No Sitting. No Loitering. Give Way. Yield. No Overtaking. Don’t Drive on Pavement. Don’t Walk on the Grass. Walk. Don’t Walk.

In a world where you are alone, there would be no one to obey or to please, let alone to set any laws for you to live up to.

Such would be the best world with no rules!

But also…No Stopping. No Right Turn. No Left Turn. Dead End!

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Read this week's paper

The Telegraph September 23

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 23, 2020.