Rules is for Fools

An old mountain climber (who lived in Hailey, Idaho) was being interviewed on PBS. He had surmounted most of the major peaks in the world. The girl interviewer suggested that he should write a book of rules for mountain climbing. Here was his answer: “RULES IS FOR FOOLS – each situation is different and if you can’t make a value judgment to apply to each, you’re dead!”

by Dave Hanks

Upon much reflection, I think that was one of the most astute comments I’ve ever heard and the longer I live the stronger this statement comes home to me. I have often wondered why we have so many rules. I guess it is because there is an abundance of fools. Fools, by their actions, cause more rules to be laid down.

But when those with leadership responsibilities are incapable (or refuse to) of making a value judgment – they will follow “The Book” to the last word. It is then evident that we are being controlled by fools and we are in big trouble. A good example of this is the endangered species act. The act has been very beneficial – a good thing! However, administrators of that act that won’t compromise or use good judgment in special circumstances, greatly harm the effort to protect the diversity of our planet.

Often, officials are more concerned with foolish perks than in using common sense to reach a realistic decision. Too often the drive to “save face” over-rides all other considerations – even if it results in negative or even harmful situations for others.

Christ gave us the only rules we need in the two great commandments. Some common sense, combined with some self-discipline in applying those two guidelines, would cover all the necessary bases.