Commentary – Too many rules, too many tears

Chris Clegg

In Peanuts, Peppermint Patty was told she could no longer wear her sandals in school due to a new dress code. It brought her to tears.
“All I know is any rule that makes a little girl cry has to be a bad rule,” said her classmate, Franklin.
In Calvin and Hobbes, a frustrated Calvin can’t get his pictures to make any sense in connect the dots. Hobbes tells him he has to connect the dots in order.
“Rules, rules, rules,” says Calvin, if I recall my cartoons correctly. “Everything has to have rules!’
From the time we are born, we are governed by rules. Some like to call them laws. As children, it’s the rule of our parents. Then teachers. Then the state. Then our bosses. Someone always seems to be bossing us around.
“Do this! Do that! Hurry Up! Brush your teeth! Get ready for school! Get that report done!”
As children and especially young adults, we seem to know what’s best for us, but little do we realize how little we actually know. It doesn’t stop us from wanting to be the know-it-all authority regarding how we should live our lives.
In Archie, he is arguing with his pal, Jughead.
“Your dad is pretty cool but he doesn’t know everything,” Jughead tells Archie, but little does he realize Archie’s father, Fred Andrews, is listening.
“No,” he tells Jughead. “But when I was your age, I did!”
Yes, teenagers do have a lot to learn no matter how smart they think they can be by searching the Internet for answers and wisdom.
But let’s think about these rules. Humans are a slave to them. Be at work on time. Take coffee breaks at exact times. Stop at red lights. Go at green lights. Do not speed! Almost everything we hear is an order whether we know it or not.
We may not like to admit it but we need rules, laws and the order that comes with it. Think of a world without laws. What a free-for-all mess it would be. Just imagine a highway with no driving laws.
In the world of politics, lawmakers can’t seem to catch up with society. As communities grow, governments regulate municipal growth. At times, it becomes a battle between developers and government. Each is right in their own mind, but the answer is usually in the middle.
Governments regulate the food we now eat to such extremes it makes one wonder. Are all these companies really producing such garbage it is unfit for human consumption? It’s a scary thought. Shouldn’t all food be safe without Big Brother government looking over your shoulder and making sure their product it is safe to eat? Yikes! Pass me another bag of Cheetos, please!
In the world of Peanuts, the characters live by their own rules. Linus is the most principled based on his spiritual beliefs. He often quotes Scripture to guide his life. Peanuts is refreshing and amazing in its presentation of life in a world where there is no little parental and government instruction. The characters simply live life to the fullest while making up their own rules at Christmas concerts or in playgrounds. One time Sally brings Snoopy to the playground to protect her and she is suddenly boss. It is not unlike the nation with the biggest military being the biggest boss.
But every now and then those pesky adults have to interfere when things are going just fine. Like Peppermint Patty, it is enough to make you cry.

Share this post