In 2006 I spent 2 weeks in Hanoi, Vietnam, the capital of a Socialist country. The biggest surprise was how free it felt there. When I returned to the U.S., I soon became turned off by the amount of rules and regulations we live with each and every day. My friend said it best, “We’re not free, we’re just free-er than most.” We may not be “free-er than most” for very long because if something’s happening, there’s a law that prohibits or protects it. I don’t blame the government, though. The problem lies within the people. If it’s possible for a nation to live by 10 laws (Israel back in Biblical days), then why couldn’t the United States? How did this overabundance of laws happen? It’s directly proportional to our morals. As morality decreases, rules increase. Just look at a few laws about motor vehicle operation.
I was recently on the interstate and saw a sign that said “booze it and lose it,” meaning you will lose your license if you’re caught driving drunk. If I were in charge of that sign, I’d have it say “booze it and you may ruins someone’s life for a long, long time. I sorta hope it’s your own and not some innocent person’s.” Then I’d have another sign that says, “stop reading this sign and pay attention to the road.” Am I the only one that thinks we have way too many signs in this country? For instance, this one:
If we ask questions like, “Why shouldn’t I drink alcohol and drive? Why shouldn’t I text and drive? Why should I wear my seat belt?” The most common answer to all these questions is, “Because if I do these things, I’ll get a ticket.” Speeding down the highway at 90 mph, we’re more worried about getting caught than the physical damage we could do. We secretly text while we’re driving so the cops don’t see. The real danger is not the police, it’s the divided attention. The unfocused driver. The compromised awareness. Just like driving under the influence of alcohol. Groups like MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers) would tell you that getting a ticket should be the least of your concerns. Yet our warnings are about what we’ll lose if we’re caught. Unfortunately, we’re influenced more by warnings that affect our wallets or our perceived freedom.
“There is no such thing as a little freedom. Either you are all free, or you are not free.” -Walter Cronkite
If we can somehow live with basic morals (treating our neighbors the way we want to be treated, for instance), the government would be less involved in our lives. On a side note, this may be why a lot of people in America have a problem with religion. It often seems like another set of rules to obey and when the government already has a lengthy list of requirements, religion is the last thing a person wants. And I’m serious about the signs.