Personal Responsibility vs Rules and Regulations

December 9, 2009

I wondered today if I was alone in a futile search for the opportunity to make up my own mind about where to park my car. I was in a part of town where there were less than half a dozen cars in the street but the signs said No Standing.
I happen to know the area well and the street was likely to be uncluttered for at least the next few hours. But, last time I used my initiative it cost me a fine. So, I followed the signs because I feared the fine even though common sense told me that obeying the signs was actually both unnecessary with regard to the purpose they had been put there and irrational, though legal!
I did not feel proud of myself and I did not feel virtuous, but really somewhat cowardly and frustrated. Then I wondered why I was wasting emotional energy on the most trivial of bureaucratic control processes and realised that it was really because this was the thinnest edge of an iceberg of much greater proportions.
I actually begun to wonder where it was in our society today that we were supposed to develop our own moral compass and our own sense of appropriate social responsibility.
I also realise I could have used much more potent examples bus somehow the trivial seemed to suit my energy at the time.
Phill Boas

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