When I was young I used to complain too much to my parents usually just anything, even the simplest thing that bothered my juvenile mind. I remember I had this argue with them on why there’s such a need to force the pupils in my school to speak totally the English language anywhere in the campus and letting them pay fines when violating. I could not bear its penalty simply because I couldn’t spare my little allowance for this. It’s a pity for myself. But then they told me that it’s every school’s standard and that there’s nothing else I can do about it than obey it. Realizing of course that it’s a rule in my school and likewise among others, at that time I felt the need of following it. Later, I began to consider the bright side of this matter somehow – it actually trained the pupils to learn the language effectively – and I had no doubt in it. I was one way or another convinced on its intention. However when I grew older, I found out that things actually were very much different on the way I understood it before. My parents were wrong because not all schools in our community had their learners speak the universal language, at least on its classrooms. Well, I could’ve thought we were lucky enough for such a privilege; but that time, really I felt deceived. We could’ve practice the language instead and not paying fines when failed to use it. I felt cheated considering the things I sacrificed not to have because I spent most of my money to paying those violations. Really, it was so annoying on my part. I decided to confront my parents about this no more – it will just sound too naïve, I knew. It, however, let me realized one thing: different authorities have its own and different way of implementing its policy and thus on managing it depending on its guiding principles. Like in my case, being part of that system, it is just appropriate and fitting for me to abide its rules and regulations. And yes! I did it so to avoid any untoward punishments though it was half against my will.
When I grew much older, the time I was already a bit aware of the happenings on the society, I found out that everything was in fact totally the same and related with each other – from the limited experience I had in school to the vague world around me. In this sense, I found out that these similar rules in school are what are known as laws in the real world.
So what is law? According to Torres, this Latin word lex has been defined “as a rule of conduct, just obligatory, laid down by legitimate power for common observance and benefit”(3). For this and with my experience, I consider it as extremely imperative. Yet as rigid as this may appear, it is something not given much attention. Too familiar the word is that it is being treated as one of the ordinaries. Too broad in a sense, it exists so passively. And too objective, you need to be aware of everything; as such ignorance excuses no one.
What I would want to impart to you is the lighter notion of what law may be on the other side. The truth is that there are lots of laws out there – and many of them can seem pretty silly and inconsequential. But they are bona fide laws nonetheless that, when broken, carry some stiff penalties. Crazy, but true, these are some of “the laws they don’t teach you about it law school…”(Kaplan 1).
I just thought if I were a citizen of North Carolina, I don’t know but I would have been in prison or the least be involved on court proceedings for having offended its law: singing off key. For this reason, I am grateful enough that I’m a Filipino; that certain law doesn’t actually apply here in the Philippines.
On the other hand, I wonder if we could adopt Singapore’s law: “[i]f you are convicted of littering three times, you will have to clean the streets on Sundays with a bib saying, “I am a litterer.” This will then be broadcasted on the local news”(Kaplan 2). This works well in Singapore though it may sound odd to us. In the Philippines however, this wouldn’t be effective, or at least not now. Singapore and Philippines are two different countries. It follows that both differ in its customs and traditions. Thus certain laws may vary on various places and may not necessarily be applicable to some.
And here is another. “In 1970 an Arizona lawyer named Russel H. Tansie filed a $100,000 damage suit against God. The suit was filed on behalf of Mr. Tansie’s secretary, Betty Penrose, who accused God of negligence in His power over the weather when he allowed a lightning bolt to strike her home. Ms. Penrose won the case when the defendant failed to appear in court. Whether or not she collected has not been recorded”(Louis 290). As I found it, cases like this sound too casual for people in Arizona. However I thought could this certain interpretation of law be possibly adopted here in our society? And yet I also thought perhaps such kind of maneuvering a law is justifiable to their beliefs and way of living. Here, if such case be brought to court, it would surely appear funny; thus would result to an immediate dismissal of this case.
It is on these matters that I made clear on what I believe is law. At a point, we may regard some of the laws to possess oddness. However on another point, the legitimacy on certain laws varies on different places depending on its applicability. A certain law on a certain place might sound ludicrous on another. It may be true to one yet can be perverted to another.
More than all these however, it is still the society itself that make laws and are thus responsible for this. We ratify it. And by reason, we need it. Would there be no law, there would only be chaos and confusion among individuals and even among nations”(Torres 3).
As for now I rest my case.