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  • Paul Condello

The Hidden Rules Of Freedom

People who live freely and harmoniously follow rules even when they don't realize it.

For example, a group of people who know how to talk to each other without forcing each other’s opinions on each other are operating by rules, but they may not realize it.

A number of people from the public talk about freedom as contrary to ideas about rules and frown on rules as keeping them from being free. These people often don’t realize that they still rely on rules to be free. People who see rules as barriers to both themselves and others often look down on rules because they have come into contact with bad rules or misapplied rules in a handful of contexts. However, what allows people to be free in a respectful and harmonious way are rules that many people may not even think about.


For example, a group of people who know how to talk to each other without forcing each other’s opinions on each other are operating by rules, but they may not realize it. They also may not realize that rules concerning freedom include rules concerning respect. They may know how to have a free conversation without being coercive or mean as a combination of life experience, their natural dispositions, and what they picked up from their parents' example in their childhood, but they don’t think about the rules that govern their behavior. However, a problem with not recognizing the rules behind their behavior is that the rules aren’t as readily transmitted. Other people from different circumstances who don’t naturally understand as well how to communicate with others in a free and respectful manner lose the benefit of the rules others take for granted.

People need to recognize that good rules actually help people to live in a free and respectful way in general and that these rules are actually the makeup of authentic Christian morality. People who have come into contact with misapplied moral teachings or have butt heads with moral ideas at impetuous times of life may even have a negative reaction to the word "morality," but real Christian morality aims at helping people understand how to treat each other the way they would want to be treated, which encompasses rules about how to live in a free and respectful way with others.


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