14 Aug Act up!
Drunken tourists party hard and leave one of Australia’s pristine beaches trashed. The public is outraged and so are the responsible politicians.
It doesn’t take one day before alcohol is banned for the rest of summer on this particular beach (by the way, the only Sydney beach where it was still allowed to drink at certain times).
Social media and comment sections of relevant articles resemble a battlefield. It always is whenever something is banned (which is pretty often), and it always follows the same pattern:
Some people think a ban is a great idea. Others don’t. They go great lengths to explain why it does or does not make sense to e.g. restrict alcohol consumption or opening hours of beer gardens. Why people should or should not be forced to wear bicycle helmets or put on seat belts.
Often times, in fact most of the times it turns into a “I know what the best rule would be” shit-show.
Which is completely beside the point, if you ask me.
Rather than discussing how our governmental overlords should regulate our lives most effectively, we should talk about self-responsibility.
We are grown women and men and as such should be able to make up our own minds about stuff, such as drinking on a beach. Of course, our behaviour often affects others but we absolutely should believe in our ability and willingness to act considerate of others. We are social beings for god sake, and while we definitely also have egoistic traits, overall we all just want to live together in peace and harmony.
Yes, there are exceptions. We all know that. Hell, every one of us can act like a fool sometimes.
- But is that reason enough to relinquish our self-responsibility?
- Do we want to live in a society where politicians make decisions for us?
- Do we really think they can do better?
I do not think so. I firmly believe that most of us know right and wrong and are capable to act accordingly, if we let them! If we treat people like grown-ups the vast majority will behave appropriately.
As for the rest, they don´t care anyway, law or not. They will find a way to cause trouble. The good news is that there are many options to deal with those people, to stop them in their tracks without unduly affecting the well-behaved majority.
What did your mum always say what you should do with the bully in class? Ignore him. Your mum was right, not feeding the trolls is still the most effective treatment.
I know, I know, some people really have issues and simply ignoring them would not help anything. But guess what. If their actions are dangerous to others, we can assist those in need, call the police and let the wrath of the criminal code deal with it. There are already PLENTY of laws to deal with all sorts of criminal conduct and anti-social behaviour. There is no need for yet another one. It does not help anything. As a matter of fact, drinking alcohol on the beach that has been trashed was already prohibited.
I think it is about time to rise up and challenge the government´s urge to micro-legislate our lives, because we do not want a bunch of people to be in charge of what normally should be our freedom to decide.
The state should mainly advocate, advise and assist, just as we do with disobedient children. It will go a long way. We don´t lock them up or out! We explain and educate. We trust. Why should it be any different with adults?
Sometimes though, to balance different interests or defend its own interest, there might indeed be a need for the state to chip in and legislate certain issues.
However, if that´s the case there needs to be a sensible and PUBLIC debate beforehand.
First of all, it makes it more likely that the outcome will be useful and improve the situation.
Secondly, a public debate will help to spread understanding of the law through different viewpoints, resulting in better acceptance and compliance, which means more HARMONY overall.
Legislation is serious business. It should not come easy. It absolutely should not be used to gain cheap popular votes.
Let´s say no to knee-jerk legislation, which sadly, seems to have become the norm nowadays.
Let´s remind the politicians of the great responsibility they carry when enacting a law. Every law infers with our freedom, and that should not happen lightly. It should be based on expert opinions, it should be well thought through and it absolutely should include the very people it will affect!!
It is a global trend – a very concerning global trend – to legislate the shit out of everything, often in the name of safety and security and, sadly, Australia is on the forefront in that regard.
Let´s not forget that not too long ago our ancestors fought hard for our liberty. We should not allow it to fade away any further. Let´s take back control of our lives.
“Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.” ― Benjamin Franklin
If you enjoyed this article make sure to check out my other work too, eg “Don´t settle for THAT”, an article capturing the struggle between our natural urge for freedom and self-development and the demands of work and life in our modern society.