Last week we were at the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and hiked to an overlook. Boy, was I surprised to see a Law Enforcement Ranger with three young adults and she was asking for the identification. We watched the fourth person climb over the fence to where she was. Apparently they crossed over the barrier to walk to the Miner’s Castle even though all along the barriers there were warnings not to do so or face possible fines and imprisonment. I’m glad to see the enforcement of the rules and I hope this is a new trend through national parks.
When I visited the Grand Canyon, I notice many young people would ignore the barriers and go sit on the edge of the rocks to hang their feet over the side and peer right down into the canyon. I never saw anyone enforce these rules and I was so afraid these people would fall to their death!
I see parents threaten children with all sorts of punishment only to really not follow through. This teaches the child that we don’t really mean what we say. So, when they see rules stating to not go beyond this point or else, they really don’t believe anything will happen.
Unfortunately many people today do not feel like rules apply to them. I see all of these conflicts between police and civilians and many times the civilians are refusing to follow directions which lead to the conflicts.
Even in schools we see students sent to the office and return to the classroom laughing. Many times administration does not deal consistently with the students and send a message that rules are not enforced. Sometimes different administrators deal differently with students who commit the same infractions and students talk.
It scares me when we are sending this message to young people. It is so important that we are consistent and fair. We need to start early with our children and teach them to follow rules because there are reasons to do so, even if it means to avoid prosecution.
How do you feel about the enforcement of rules? Please share.
Original photo by Pat Hensley