Last week in Sunday school our teacher had us draw either a football field or a basketball court. When we finished he asked us how we started the drawing and everyone said that they started by first drawing the lines of the field or court and then filled in the rest. What he was trying to teach us was that we have to have boundaries in life just like a playing field.
Later in the week I was working a jigsaw puzzle and thought about the lesson. When you put a puzzle together you don’t start with the pieces in the middle (or at least the vast majority of people don’t). Instead you begin by identifying the edge pieces and after getting the parameters in place (the boundaries) then you can start putting the rest of the puzzle together.
Can you start the other way? Of course you can. But, it’s a whole lot easier and makes more sense if you set the boundaries before you get to the middle. Remember the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes when Calvin would make up the rules of the game as he went along so that he would always win? It was called Calvin ball and no one but Calvin knew the rules.
Of course, putting a puzzle together from the inside out doesn’t change the rules but it sure does make it harder to get the puzzle completed. And, if you didn’t have boundaries for a football game then it truly would be chaos and Calvin would always win since he’s the only one that knows the rules.
So why all the deep philosophical musings? Because our society is rapidly evolving to the point where it seems like there are no boundaries. And the ones that we do have keep getting blurred to the point of irrelevance. And, with no boundaries or rules guess what happens – chaos and confusion.
There are way too many parents around today that want to be friends to their kids when, in reality, kids want and need parents to be parents first. Kids need boundaries and want that feeling of security that someone cares enough about them to tell them “no” every once in awhile.
But, parents are just following the lead of today’s society in general. From the executive department right on down the line it seems that laws are merely suggestions and the Constitution is an antiquated guideline that can be manipulated when it is in the best interest of political gain. Executive orders and federal regulatory agencies have taken the place of laws. And the worst thing is that most people don’t seem to have a big problem with that.
It took me a little while after I was elected to the Missouri General Assembly to realize that the real power was not with those that passed the laws but rather in the hands of those that implemented the laws. The legislature might pass a law but afterwards a regulatory agency comes along and tells everyone what they have to do to be in compliance with the law.
That’s where we are at with Obamacare. I can almost guarantee you that almost no one who voted in favor of that piece of legislation actually read the 2,000 page bill. And I can absolutely guarantee you that no one (and I mean no one) will ever read the 10s of thousands of pages of regulations that will go along with the legislation. But, those tens of thousands of pages will be used to implement this law and will dictate how we get our healthcare in the years to come.
I don’t know what’s worse, the tens of thousands of pages of regulations or the fact that some of our leaders just choose to ignore the parts of the law that they don’t like. I take that back. I do know that answer to that one. I may not like a law and its subsequent regulations but there is a thing called the Constitution that I swore to uphold as a legislator.
Even if I don’t like a given law I am obligated to obey it because of that oath. The real issue is with those that think they are beyond the law and make things up as they go along. Seems like too many of our leaders are fans of Calvin and Hobbes.
Kevin Wilson writes a weekly column for the Daily News.