There is a saying that ‘laws are guidelines for wise people and statutes for fools’.
In other words, if you are of good character and love people in general then the rules are below your standards of operation anyway. You will choose to do ‘the right thing’ by default. For example, if you are an honest person then the laws about stealing do not really apply because you are applying a higher law of integrity.
Most of us do not break the law because we believe in a mutually civil society. We behave in a way that assists our society’s functioning by following the golden rule of treating others as you would want them to treat you.
So in every society, there are fundamentals that should not change and not stealing is seen as a fundamental.
What about the variables though?
How do we apply a set of thinking and parameter tools to situations which are determined on circumstances? Which tool do we use for which situation?
A variable might be when you tell your kids to not run where there are elderly people around to avoid knocking them over or stressing them. However in the situation when there is an imminent danger, we would want them to run and run hard!
Here a blanket rule of not running might serve them well in one scenario and put them in danger in another.
As young parents, my wife and I were encouraged to work around this challenge by teaching our children to discern the situation for themselves. We worked through our communications and behaviours to teach them to evaluate for themselves what is happening in the circumstances around them.
We learned through this active understanding and life knowledge that we must teach young people to discern the best course for each action and instil in them the fundamentals of morality. This is because, with these tools, they can come from a place of courage, integrity, humility and honesty.
With this, they also need permission to make mistakes and make decisions when they are appropriately aged and experienced.
I do believe that there are spiritual and moral absolutes. However, we cannot remove humanity and variable circumstances from the equation when making decisions.
What are your variables and how do you decide?
About the Author:
Dave is an Adult Educator, Speaker and Youth leader living in Western Sydney, Australia where he teaches the Electrical Trades at the Western Sydney Institute. He has Diplomas in Business and Training, a Bachelors Degree in Adult Education, Vocational and Workplace Training and a Masters of Education with a major in Career Development. He has lived with Tourette’s Syndrome, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Anxiety Disorders since an early age, you can read his story online. He is married with 6 children. He is a passionate coach and mentor to young people especially in the vocational guidance and career development areas. Dave is a professional member of the Career Development Association of Australia and has authored a course on Living with Tourette’s which you can study and purchase online through his website – www.davebrebner.com.