I’ve said it in an earlier post: To me, Religion is not restricted to worship and prayer; Politics is not merely governance and administration; and Law is not confined to policies and the justice systems states have in place. To me, Religion is a way of life, Politics is a reflection of a time period and Law regulates what we pass on to posterity.
If we look at ‘Law’ as a set of rules, then there are laws that govern global relations between allies and others, laws that govern trade, business and protocol, laws for desirable behaviour in space and Green laws for ensuring sustainable development.
There are also laws for governance of nations, civil and criminal laws that intend to allow sanity to prevail as societies unravel, social laws such as laws of etiquette at board meetings, music concerts, schools, meetings with Royalty, gatherings such as dinners, parties, weddings and funerals, and neighbourhood laws. (Indeed, even anti-social elements are expected to operate within the bounds of ‘gang-laws’, though this is not the concern here.)
And, of course, there are laws that each household traditionally carries forth like a family heirloom, from one generation to the next, and keeps adding to or dropping as an impossible rule, as generations evolve and grow.
‘Ignorance of the law’ is not looked upon kindly – whether it is in international relations, simple get-togethers or a family’s table manners. In a bid to abide by the law, be accepted, in a bid to fall in with the norms, most of us make an effort to know the rules or learn them. However, it is seldom that we rise to question a law. Indeed, such an attitude could well invite ridicule or wrath and result in our being cold-shouldered. So, we put up with everything – from minor inconvenience to gross injustice, stoically. The question I want to raise is: Should we? Should we silently succumb to the pressure to conform or find the courage to stand up for change?
Over the next few posts I would like to examine how laws have not always worked in the long term interest of the majority, or society, so that we may ask ourselves whether we should stand aside and let things pass or stand up and make things happen that our future generations will thank us for.