“Rules are for idiots!”
… is something I inadvertently blurted out to my then six-year-old son in response to his remark about a new rule at school. That rule stated: “You can’t say you can’t play”. That ‘brain flash’ of mine, needless to say, was a phrase ripe for a young boy to firmly grasp onto … at his mother’s future peril.
Yes, I know there was a beautiful intention of inclusivity behind that rule which the school sought to bring into childhood awareness. I guess I was annoyed that something so simple and, in my opinion, a ‘no brainer’, had to be made into a rule.
I appreciated their desire to have students like and respect each other, but to be required to hang out in a social group with someone that you have no interest in, was in my opinion an example of rules gone too far. It limits preference and the gives away power of choice to others. In my view a simple lesson in compassion was all that was needed.
So why do we have rules in the first place?
Some say without them, humanity would be out of control; that the law of the jungle would prevail.
Do you think you need someone to tell you how to be a decent human? Do we not know that it’s not good manners to murder someone … without a very good reason? Do we need that kind of a directive to be written in law?
It seems that laws are made for the good governance of the people. And someone decides what those laws are going to be.
Let’s have a look at laws. They change with time. They change with governments. They differ between cultures. We make ‘better’ laws. We make more laws to fill in the gaps when situations arise that the existing laws can’t protect you. There are sub-rules and then more rules to qualify the rules, and sometimes the rules are so convoluted that we need a legal system to test out how they apply to a given set of facts.
A legal system of sorts started for us when we were small.
We were born into governance. The family, culture or tribe we grew up in, imposed all sorts of rules upon us that we had to live by. “Money doesn’t grow on trees”… “boys don’t cry”…“don’t be silly” … are some common ones we factored into our childhood rulebook. We followed those rules so that we would be fed, clothed, accepted and loved. It was about our survival. Those rules were good law for us, as they kept us safe. But they represent conditional love; follow my rule and you will be loved.
It appears to me that we were indoctrinated by the need for rules when we were young, so that we could transition into an outside world understanding that rules are going to be there to guide and protect you. But the rules are made by ‘them’. Where did your power go?
If laws were good for humanity, why do people break them anyway? We all do. We speed, we cheat on taxes, we burn off on ‘non-burning off’ days. Is our motivation to break a law greater than our fear of being punished?
People are not ‘bad’, they are usually motivated to do something because they would feel better in the doing of it. It would seem there is a power existing within us that does not care about external consequences.
So why did I blurt out that line to my son?
What was it within me that told me that we should not need external governance? What was it within me that told me that we should all know compassion for others? I now know it was my intuition (in-tuition), my inner teacher or guide, letting me know that our power to self-govern arises from within us. My inner guide is powered by love. Unconditional love.
So why aren’t we trusting in our own self-governance? It’s my view that because we’ve always had laws, we haven’t questioned the need for them. Further, I believe that many of us feel safe in being governed by others as this resonates with our familiar past of being governed by our parents/carers.
As adults we carry beliefs that are no longer serving us. As I said, they were good law when we were children, but we need to revisit and honour those laws for the purpose they served. When we do this we can change our internal programming to self-validation, self-guidance and self love. We can trust again in our own response to life. We are now the adult. We don’t need ‘parental’ rules any longer. We can have the power to love and care for ourselves, if we so choose it.
I wondered what would happen if there were no laws?
I’ve seen the traffic in India. Organized chaos. I saw a traffic incident. The perpetrator stopped in heavy traffic to help out the injured party. There did not appear to be angst or blame. There seemed be genuine compassion. There was a system that appeared to work from the perspective that everyone was looking out for each other.
If we all want the highest good for each other, we first need to understand and trust in that which is in the highest good for ourselves. We can only see in each other what is already within us. And that is our inherent love.
Let love be of the essence in all our decision-making and guidance.
We don’t need a rule to understand that.