Sunday, May 6, 2012

By the rules

Sometimes I wish it wasn't so easy to break rules. How do you teach your children to do the right thing when everyone else is doing the wrong thing?
One day this week, as I was driving my daughter into school I saw three cars pull into the front of the school. Now that normally wouldn't be a bad thing but it was 9:05 (yes, I was late). There's a sign that clearly states no cars in circle between 8 am to 9:15 am.
My daughter wanted me to pull into the circle because it was raining and being in the circle makes you closer to the front door. Of course I wouldn't do it because that's breaking the rules and she couldn't understand why I wouldn't go into the circle when everyone else was.
Because it's wrong to break a rule. There's a rule in place for a reason. That rule is not just for the school buses. That's for the safety of our children as is the sign that says no turn on red right outside our school but wouldn't you know it people do that too. I guess they're in a big hurry to go and get their Starbucks or do something else but it doesn't matter. Those three seconds that you're going to have to wait at that red light? Wait. Would you want someone breaking that law if it was your child on their way into school? Don't even get me started on how fast people drive in the parking lot and in and out of the driveway (but, that's a whole nother show Oprah).
Maybe some people think they're special. Maybe some people think the rules don't apply to them. Or maybe they think it's not really a big deal to disregard the sign and just do whatever they want because, really, what's the harm?
And I know a lot of us think that rules are made to be broken - that some rules are silly and that they don't make any sense. Sometimes you're right - sometimes some rules are silly and don't make any sense. Sometimes they're outdated and don't apply to circumstances today.
But it doesn't matter even if the rule of stupid - it's there and you have to follow it and as hard as it is to follow it you have to do it anyway and you have to teach your children to follow rules. They have to listen to the teacher and listen to their coach and they have to listen to the principal and they have to follow rules.
Obedience is hard - it means humbling yourself. Many times, too many of us think "Oh, that's not meant for me." They disregard rules and act in a self-centered universe. But what are we teaching our kids? We're teaching them to undermine authority. We're teaching them that we are better than other people. I know, you're probably saying, "Really? Aren't you comparing apples to oranges talking about a silly parking rule and comparing it to obedience and disrespect?" Um, nope - both apples. So, stop breaking the apples!

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