As we mature in life, I believe we tend to have more respect for the rules and laws that effect the actions we take each and every day. Perhaps itís because we have more to lose as we mature. Or perhaps itís because we realize that for a society to function in an orderly fashion, there must be rules and laws in place to insure proper behavior by its members.
Because our societies are so complex, itís very difficult to learn about and practice every rule and law thatís put into place by the leaders who create them. However, we all find out about the rules and laws that eventually effect us, at the infamous ďSchool of Hard Knocks,Ē and often pay dearly for not abiding by them.
Probably the most penalized portion of citizens has got to be drivers of motor vehicles. Pick any day of the week, and you will find the DMV Agencies in every county and state, as well as its courtrooms, full of drivers who have forgot to pay fines; forgot to extend their driverís licenses and registrations on time; or were ticketed for any multitude of infractions that cost them dearly in fines, surcharges and hiked insurance rates. Thereís little mercy extended for not knowing the exact speed limit on a road under construction that might change speed limits three times in a five mile span. You had better be watching those changes CAREFULLY and adhere to every change, or face the consequences of a ticket with a stiff fine and driving points added to your record.
I often wondered which members of our city, county or state legislators were responsible for limiting the speed on a four or six lane highway to 45 miles per hour, when the highway was built for traveling 60-65 miles per hour. Are these leaders looking out for the safety of itís citizens by posting very low speed limits or are they trying to fund their ever expanding budgets by ticketing any car at will - since few would dare to travel at 45 miles per hour for fear they would be run down by the vehicles following them.
Regardless of the circumstances you are placed in daily, itís everyoneís responsibility to know and follow the rule of law. If you become complacent and sloppy about following rules and laws, you are sure to face unpleasant and usually very costly consequences. If you donít agree with the rules or laws created by your leaders Ė then itís your responsibility to lobby for changes. Complaining to your friends and neighbors without taking any political action Ė will get you nowhere! If you choose to ignore the laws and rules in place because you think they are unfair - you will end up in constant misery with an empty wallet.
The youth of all nations are always upset when they are penalized for their ignorance of the law. This is a natural reaction. Few people ever leave their house with the intention of breaking the law on any given day. However, we all find out quickly in life that the pain principle is a great teacher for both young and old. As an adult I know I have grown more conscientious with every passing year of my life. I feel good about learning about and following the rule of law. I also enjoy paying my bills on time as well as completing my obligations or responsibilities well before they are due. I feel secure and satisfied when I am in control of my own destiny and my wallet. However when I try to impart my beliefs on younger individuals Ė to protect them from the wraths of the School of Hard Knocks Ė they tend to view me as over-cautious and over-board for dotting all the iís and crossing all the tís.
It seems natural for mature adults to want to impart their wisdom and beliefs upon their family and friends, who are younger or less experienced. I just wish that it was natural for others to follow the good advice given to them and not have to learn lessons the hard way Ė and then come back for expensive help and advice after the fact. Itís much easier to follow rules and laws once you learn them. But learning about them is the hard part. Being a good listener and following good advice is fundamentally sound.
So the next time someone you know and trust tries to guide you through the maze of rules and laws that surround us Ė try to pay attention to the details and learn the easy way. Donít debate and argue over whatís fair and whatís not. This is an irrelevant argument. If you donít like the rules and laws in force Ė go and do something positive to change them. But while they are in place, following them every day will save you lots of precious time, money and aggravation. Always respecting rules and laws, as well respecting those that follow them is a great lesson to be learned this week.