What is the difference between a convict and a citizen who follows the law? Law-abiding citizens have more trust and freedom. Convicts have nothing compared to the agency of those who obey the law. When people follow rules, they gain more freedom. When people do what they are told, they gain more trust.
When children disobey their parents, some privileges are taken away. Possibly, the parents may not have as much respect for their children any longer. On the other hand, there are the ideal children who do what their parents want them to do without being told to do it. These obedient children have the freedom to do what they want without close monitoring because their parents trust them.
Following rules and laws provides freedom and trust. Just as parents limit freedom when their children do not follow their directions or rules, policemen must arrest citizens who break major laws or disturb the peace. When people do not follow the law (rules), then, they are ticketed, tried, fined, or jailed. Often this infraction goes on their criminal record, which follows those people for the rest of their lives. When convicts apply for jobs, their employers need to know background information and probably will not trust those individuals. This is because most people lose the trust of the public when they become convicts.
Throughout my life, I have strived to do as my parents have instructed me. Similar to everyone, I have made mistakes. There are times when I have not wanted to work on homework, so I read a book for pleasure. When my parents found me, they took the book away so I could concentrate on my homework. If I am doing anything but homework, my parents ask me if my homework is done. If I deliberately disobey my parents, it takes a long time to regain their trust. I would rather reap the benefits of following the rules than regret not following them and therefore live with fewer privileges, less freedom, and certainly less trust.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.