Paying attention to “stop lights”

Many years ago, as I was driving home from a friend’s house late at night, I slowed down as I approached a familiar crossroad. There was a traffic light there, and it was just turning red. I could see that the roads were empty in all directions, so it didn’t really seem necessary to stop and sit there waiting for the light to change. And yet, as I arrived at the junction, I found myself stopping. I sat there, completely alone in the dark, looking at that light and feeling rather silly. Apparently, I couldn’t bring myself to drive through a red light, even under those circumstances. It gave me something to think about. 

In our everyday world, we recognize various types of laws. There are man-made laws, such as traffic laws, which can be changed and are sometimes ignored. There are also what are sometimes called natural laws, such as gravity, which can’t be changed or ignored. If you jump out of a tree, gravity takes you down, not up or sideways, and you inevitably end up on the ground. There are also what are sometimes referred to as moral laws, found in every society, which deal with relationships and our behavior toward each other.

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