Every city, place, and community has its own set of rules. They don’t have to make sense, be logical, or even had a rationale reason for existing. It is as if a group of people in a location, sharing history together, have earned the right to have certain ways of doing things together. This right goes on to become a demand for others who spend some time in their community to behave in a similar manner.
I don’t think one ever knows all the rules. It is as if you get a sense with time. At some point you “feel” your thoughts and views about the various rules begin to be part of the shared dialogue of the community. Yet through out the process there are many “rules” which don’t make a lot of sense.
One New York rule is that the car with the leading bumper in front has the right to do anything they want, without others cars protesting (honking) of course! As a result the streets of New York rarely resound with the blare and noise of honking cars! New York is many things, but this it isn’t. It is part of New York’s rules.
I don’t know if this particular rule makes much sense. If there is danger you should let others know (honk). If you need to warn somebody, honking seems a reasonable way to accomplish the task. Yet the community has decided and it is now a rule, custom, and tradition.
In Jerusalem of yesterday, there was a tradition playing itself out during the trial of Jesus. The exchange went as follows.
“‘It's your custom that I pardon one prisoner at Passover. Do you want me to pardon the 'King of the Jews'?’
They [the crowd] shouted back, ‘Not this one, but Barabbas!’ Barabbas was a Jewish freedom fighter.” (John 18.39, 40)
The decision wasn’t necessarily rationale but it was a community choice. They were operating by their rules. Today I wonder. Which community do we belong to? Are we bound by other’s rules, blinding going along? Do we know?
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