Tuesday, January 15, 2013
The Rules of Admission
I personally would never dream of asking to join a group or organization that I clearly was not qualified to be a part of. But then again, I strongly believe that rules are rules, they are created for a reason, and they should never be broken. However, sometimes I wonder if I am in the minority with this line of thinking. I see the challenging of such rules in action everyday. Parents routinely ask for their too young or too old children to be able to participate in a sporting event for which the organizers have set age limits; school districts that have clear residency requirements are challenged to allow non-residents admission; and yes, social clubs that cater to a specific audience, whether it be military spouse groups, boy scout packs, or country clubs all get challenged to make exceptions to their admissions policies. If we start making exceptions it begs the question of why have rules in the first place?
Too many times these issues become personal. Someone will advocate that their friend is nice and should be allowed to join the club. Unless being nice is clearly defined as a criteria for joining, why is that even entering into the discussion? If you make one exception, where do you draw the line? When you reach someone who isn't so nice? As is the case with most things, once you start down that slippery slope you can rarely return to where you started from. By saying no to the exception you aren't judging one's "niceness" factor; rather you are judging them on the basis of their clear eligibility criteria. If you don't meet it you can't join; if you can, welcome aboard. The concept really isn't that difficult. But then again, I am a rule follower.
Meanwhile, over on Facebook the debate continues. I don't know where it will end up but one thing is guaranteed, the group will be polarized by the whole situation and I'm not sure that is in any one's best interest. See what happens when someone tries to bend the rules?