Saturday, March 2, 2013

New Rule: Everyone must read this blog, except me!

Have you noticed how we (civilized people in general) are so good at passing rules from which we are exempt?  Say for example, I am the transportation minister; I'll propose/pass a new speed limit rule on all state highways, reducing it to say 40 kph.  I'll pass it without a moment's notice, because I am exempted from it. My parade of cars and security personnel will take me down the road at 100 kph even though I passed the rule restricting everyone else from doing the same.

I'm not pointing fingers at the government here, that was just an example.  Take a look at all the rules around you.  How many of those rules were created by people who were exempted from it?  A student is banned from bringing mobiles to college but the staff who created or is enforcing, the rule is exempted from it.  Employees are ordered not to take a vacation or not to work from home but the people who made the rule....

If its not a straight forward exemption, then its a loophole.  Say for example, the government increases the price of petrol but the ministers who made the decision never actually pay for petrol because the government pays for their travel expenses.  I'm sorry for circling back to the government but hey, they govern us.  Then there is the case of enforcers who give a damn about the rule that they are enforcing.  Near my office, traffic police catch people for driving on the wrong side of the road.  Two days ago, I saw how the traffic police gets to that spot.  They drive in the wrong side of the road, same as the people they fine.  How is their big white Innova less dangerous than someone else's Hero Honda Splendour?

Now, hey, I'm not saying that the hike in petrol price is the government's fault or that driving in the wrong side of the road is acceptable.  In fact, I hate it when people (including me) drive on the wrong side of the road and from what I heard, in US, raise and drop of petrol price is not even considered a big fuss.  But the fact that the people who come up with these rules and enforce these rules are somehow not affected by them is just ridiculous.

We should probably make it a rule that whoever creates a rule should be the first one to get affected by that rule.  That way, when a leader declares war against a country, he should be the first man on the ground shooting the first bullet.  And when a terrorist leader orders a suicide attack, strap the damn thing on him first.  Now I truly understand what Achilles meant, when he said in Troy "Imagine a king who fights his own battles.  Wouldn't that be a sight!".

Those scenarios are high level pictures and perhaps even vague concepts, I admit.  But its still worth thinking about in our day to day life.  The next time we order a kid at home or our subordinates at work, we could spare a second to check if we are exempted and if we are, then maybe we should think twice before forcing it on them.