Monday, May 17, 2010

Actions Based Upon Consequences

Sorry it's late in the day, just the way my day has been today...

I was thinking today about one day on my trip to Africa. We had gotten up really, really early in the morning because we were basically on Safari, we were looking at animals in the Hwange Game Park. The "park hours" on the sign were 6am to 6pm (or basically, sunrise to sunset). In talking about our trip, we had to plan where we would stay when not in the park and one of our group asked, "What happens if you don't make it back in by 6?"

"You make it back by 6."

"But, what if you don't make it back in by 6?"

"No, you don't understand, you make it back in by 6."

And it went back and forth like that a few more times. Basically we were asking what the consequences were for being late, what would the punishment be. And their attitude was a little different. You don't worry about the consequences, you worry about the rules.

It seems to me in America we don't really care what's right or wrong so much as we care about what being wrong will cost us. If we can pay it or live with the consequences, then it's not really "wrong". What if we actually lived the way we were supposed to without worrying what would happen either way, right or wrong, we simply followed the rules simply because we were asked to and understood they were in everyone's best interests? What would happen?

And by the way, the best we could figure, the consequence for not making back in to the rest stops in the national park was the door was locked, you did not get in. That may not seem so bad, until you hear a lion roar in the night... Maybe their rules had some reason behind them...


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