Secret rules, peaceful enforcers

last edited 2024-07-03

In my youth I had two experiences where a non-state rule enforcer had to deal with me violating a rule and handled it in a way I didn't appreciate until years later:

Shortly after both of these experiences, I realized what had happened: I was breaking a rule and the enforcer didn't want to tell me. And I was insulted.

But years later, I saw their actions differently. They didn't want to tell me children weren't allowed to be alone because then they would be coercing me. They wanted my compliance to be voluntary. They wanted to do it morally. I don't know if that's how they saw it, but it's how I do now. It wasn't an insult. It was treating me like a human being, a respect rarely given to children.

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