Rules, Guidelines, and Idiots


My relationship with rules is a mixed bag. I’ve always had a rebellious streak in me, a character flaw that I blame on my late father, a chronic rule-breaker who liked to say he “didn’t play according to Hoyle.” For better or for worse, I inherited dad’s rule-breaking DNA.

And yet, as someone who once ran a factory and led a large team of employees, I understand the importance and necessity of having rules.

Hence, I am deeply conflicted.

What I really hate are stupid rules. And rules that are detrimental if blindly followed to the letter when conditions don’t apply.

A good example is the speed limit. Near my previous home in Hawaii, the speed limit of the closest highway was 45 mph even at a section of the road that was, at the time, the most dangerous intersection on the island. (Thankfully, they have since replaced it with a roundabout.) So many serious and fatal accidents occurred there over the years due to a poorly designed intersection combined with an inappropriate speed limit. Incompetence and poor judgment can be a deadly combination

So rather than blindly obey the maximum speed limit of 45 mph, I always slowed down to 30 based on the assumption that the “other guy” entering the intersection was an idiot. Saved my ass more than once.

Common sense, as uncommon as it can be, is a beautiful thing.

Truth is I am more of a guidelines kind of guy.  And yet guidelines can be just as dangerous as rules if left to the whims of idiots.

If I were king, I would impose rules on people with no common sense and leave the guidelines to the thinking people. Ah, if only I were king!

Where is this post going? Well, with Japan’s voluntary “state of emergency” officially over – and with lockdowns in the U.S. being lifted as I type this – we are already seeing the common senseless masses acting as if the Covid virus has somehow gotten the government memo and agreed to go into hibernation. How could anyone with half a brain not understand that viruses don’t follow government edicts?

Sure hope I am wrong, but the queen and I are bracing for the next wave of infections.

As the old cliché goes, I will focus on what I can control while incessantly complaining about what I can’t. (The second part of that sentence is not a cliché…yet. 😉 )

Our castle has no king, but thankfully, my queen has decreed that our family will continue to show restraint, maintain proper social distancing,  and dutifully wash our hands.

The queen has also decreed that all my readers must do the same.

Please be safe folks – don’t be a Covidiot, okay?

@ Tim Sullivan 2020

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