When it comes to rules, the problem is that – as is the case in mathematics – there all always exceptions.
Perhaps the most difficult thing is to deal with the exceptions. Care calls for commitment.
It is like a marathon race, or rather, a race that only has a starting line…It is a process that never ends. Once you get tired and stop putting effort into the task at hand, the end starts to recede, fade away and, eventually, disappear.
More often than not, in the wake of unforeseeable events that have had an impact on us – individually or on society as a whole – we set out to make a framework of rules and laws.
These laws, rules or procedures are meant to create a sense of justice and reassure us that everyone adheres to them.
In this way we can prevent people from saying things like ‘I didn’t know!’, ‘Everybody is doing it!’ and the like.
The problem is that once we have laid down the rules, we immediately try to become the exception to the rule. We expect the rules to be followed by others but not necessarily by us.
As there is no religion, culture or game without rules, there is no religion, culture or game where the rules are not broken by certain people.
One could argue that there is no point in having rules, laws and procedures.
The point is that, without rules, religion, culture and games would have no structure, no foundation and, as a result, they would eventually collapse.
Unless we exercise care, all the above will be nothing more than small dots of thoughts and intentions.
We can make a mental image of rules: Small dots on a piece of white paper.
If we give it a casual glance, it will be just a piece of paper with dots. It may seem useless and the chances are that we will throw it away, tear it to pieces or burn it without a second thought.
However, if we start connecting the dots, we will be able to make out the pattern, the picture, the message that these dots form. This is what care is about.
It is something that concerns us all even though it is a painstaking process and we may feel tempted to avoid it.
It may be a flower that we did not water, a pet that we left in the streets, a child that we did not raise as we should have, a parent that we see as a burden, a relationship that we did not nurture, a body that we did not exercise, a mind that we did not sharpen.
Whatever happens in our society or in the company we work for boils down to the care we show to ourselves and our personality, it is its reflection.
If there is no respect for human life, if crimes are committed, if we experience intimidation within our society or workplace, we have to realize that we are the ones that allow it to happen. We all live in an environment that we accept to live in, otherwise we would have done something to change it.
If we tolerate lawlessness and improper behavior, we inevitably become part of the picture that portrays the offender and not the victim. All we have to do is exercise care and create a new picture.