privilege has its consequences
Posted by wlebolt
In high school I walked the halls freely. I was a good student; everyone knew that. Student government president, valedictorian-to-be. Hall passes were required to walk the halls, but I didn’t need one. Everyone knew I was doing school business or a teacher’s business. No one would stop me. I was above reproach. Until…
Until one day a teacher — a shop teacher or a vocational skills teacher, one I barely knew — stopped me and asked for my hall pass. I was incensed. How dare he? I would never be skipping class. I was on my own recognizance. Free this period and had important work to do. And I didn’t have a hall pass.
I was incensed. to be asked. to follow the rules. everyone else had to follow. for the safety of our school.
This teacher was not deterred. Everyone in the halls needed a pass, no matter who they were or where they were going, no matter what business they were doing. He sent me back to get a pass and I complied. Grudgingly. Angrily. Seething against the wrong just committed against me. I was above reproach and he should know that. I was entitled to special privileges because of my good behavior, because of the trust I had earned, because of the reliability I had demonstrated.
No I wasn’t.
Today I read that some members of Congress are refusing to walk through magnetometers (metal detectors) upon entering the House Chamber. Something I must submit to upon entering secure buildings, museums, houses of worship, national shrines, and government buildings all over the world. To walk those hallowed halls I need a hall pass. Some members of Congress don’t think they need one. They have never been asked; now we’re asking and they’re crying foul. I am beyond reproach! Going about the nation’s business! Have important work to do! You have no right to stop me!
They are incensed. to be asked. to follow the rules. everyone else has to follow. for the safety of our democracy.
A small price to pay, really. But a hard lesson to learn. I’m feeling particularly grateful today for that teacher who taught it to me when I was young. It’s so much harder to learn when we’re older and there’s so much more at stake.
“For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”Luke 14:11
Posted in culture, current events
Tags: Capitol building, Congressmen, discipline, follow the rules, hall pass, humility, metal detectors