Rules aren’t made to be broken

Some say, rules are meant to be broken. Really? OK, maybe there are some rules that weren’t well thought out. These kind of rules could be characterized as stupid. It might be OK to break stupid rules, but if the rules aren’t stupid then we need to obey them and teach our children to do the same. Rules are meant to protect us, help us succeed and help us prosper. Rules are the codification of wisdom and should govern everything we say and do.

Here’s one your mom gave you. Look both ways before you cross the street. This is a good rule. It is meant to protect us and if we heed it we are kept safe; if we don’t there could be serious consequences.

Here’s another good rule: budget your income, don’t spend more than you make and save for the unexpected. This is a rule that can protect us from getting into a financial crunch.

Sometimes we are tempted to break rules for the sake of immediate need such as: I’m late for work so it’s OK to speed a little. No, it’s not OK to speed. Speeding puts you and others at risk of serious or even fatal injury. Or, hey, it’s Christmas, we’ll just charge it and pay it later. Trouble is other stuff happens and it goes on the card, too. When your income doesn’t match your expenses you end up with a financial train wreck. You break the rules and there can be serious consequences.

On April 30th, 1789, George Washington was inaugurated as our first president of the newly formed United States of America. In his inaugural address he stated: “The foundation of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality … there is no truth more thoroughly established than that there exists in the economy and course of nature an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness … we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.”

It’s interesting to note that Washington gave this speech in New York City on the balcony of the Senate Chamber at Federal Hall on Wall Street, not far from what is now known as Ground Zero, where the World Trade Towers stood. Some would say it’s a coincidence, I’m not so sure. Doesn’t it seem like all manner of calamity has occurred since? One thing I am sure of is this: as Washington alluded to and I and others believe if we “disregard the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained,” in which our nation was founded upon, then there will be serious consequences that no elected official, be it Republican or Democrat can save us from.

Gary Barnett