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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %EXCLUSIVE RULES DEFENSIVE FEAR LEGALISM LAW LOVE+950910 %PERSONAL COMMUNAL INTEGRITY HONESTY HEALTH EVIL+950910 %EXCLUSIVE CLUB SEPARATION DISTINCTION REJECTION+950910 %PRUDENT FEAR DECISIONS ACTIONS COERCIVE VIOLENCE 950910 To promote personal and communal integrity we must often assess the integrity of: RULES REGULATIONS COMMANDMENTS TABOOS INJUNCTIONS PROHIBITIONS LAWS DISCIPLINES JUDGES COURTS JUDICIARIES LEGISLATION EXECUTIVES LEGISLATURES LEGISLATORS SCRIPTURES RITUALS TRADITIONS All of the above in one way or another "rule" our lives and will here be referred to collectively as "rules"; although they are not all literally rules. To promote personal and communal integrity we must often asses the integrity of "rules"; meaning everything which "rules" our lives. Many rules have been designed with clear intentions, others with less clear intentions. Some rules may have been initiated with intentions which have been forgotten and/or the rules have been used in ways inconsistent with the original intentions. Often the consequences of honoring and living by a particular set of rules are not the intended consequences and/or the consequences are not recognized as flowing from the honoring and living by the particular set of rules. In any case it is important to recognize, name, describe and talk about the consequences which were intended and/or which actually follow from people seeking and/or pretending to honor and live by various rules. Some rules are intended and/or are used to set up distinctions and separations between "us" and "them". Exclusive clubs set up prerequisites for membership and rules of behavior, etiquette, dress, grooming, discourse, and life-style by which to keep clear who is a legitimate member of the club and who is not. Exclusive clubs often have distinctive rituals, mannerisms and initiation rites by which they separate themselves from those who are excluded from the clubs. The purpose of their rules is separation. The fulfillment of the purpose of their rules is often self-righteousness, alienation, estrangement, misunderstanding, judgementalism, condemnation, arrogance, and pride which separates those inside the club from those outside the club. Not all exclusive clubs are called clubs. The exclusive club behavior pattern may be observed in professional organizations, adolescent cliques, neighborhoods, schools, churches, ethnic groups, etc. In each example of exclusive club behavior there are rules which help to define and maintain the separation between those inside the club and those outside the club. Not all rules have been instituted to define and maintain exclusive clubs. Many rules have been instituted to promote and protect personal and communal integrity; e.g., laws regarding: dishonesty, deception, collusions, conspiracies, violence, coercion, stealing, rape, murder, sexual harassment, arson, disturbing the peace, etc. We need to recognize the difference between rules which promote and protect personal and communal integrity, and rules which promote separations between members of an exclusive club and those who are excluded from the club. Often people who are seeking to maintain exclusive clubs pretend that their alienative rules are designed to promote personal and communal integrity. Their pretentions need to be revealed to be what they in truth are. Often rules are used to reject non-conformists from the fellowship of exclusive clubs, rather than to promote personal and communal integrity. Those people who are not willing to conform to conformal rules are defined to be not acceptable; for to belong to the exclusive club entails being willing to conform to rules designed to distinguish between insiders and outsiders. Often rules are defensive means motivated and guided by disintegrative fears which concentrate attention upon what has not happened and may not happen, diverting attention away from positive actions which can be chosen and enacted. Such defensive rules are often used in ways which generate alienation and disintegration. Prudent fears guide people away from situations which are excessively risky and have a low likelihood of any gain. Disintegrative fears paralyze rather than motivate learning which leads to wise decisions and prudent actions. People who concentrate on rules and the enforcement of rules are often motivated and guided by disintegrative fears, rather than by love. Exclusive clubs of all forms are motivated and guided by fear; and generate fear, ignorance, misunderstanding, alienation, and both personal and communal disintegration. People who are motivated and guided by love do not form exclusive clubs. They seek to promote both personal and communal integration through true conflict resolution as peacemakers who transcend fear through love. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================