Rules Based or Principles Based

comI was in NY, with my family, to celebrate my mother’s 90th birthday, a bit earlier than her actual birthday. She is quite amazing. Sharp as a tack and living by herself and completely taking care of herself (shopping, cleaning, and cooking) and us, of course. It was wonderful for us all and for Rachel, my mother, it was a mega treat. Thanks mom for everything, you did a great job.

One of the most insightful or special moments was going to the supermarket. We wanted to buy some beer which is a nightmare as there are hundreds of choices. Anyway, we went to the checkout to pay, and the greatest compliment and clear example what is wrong with America happened. I got carded. I said “what do you want? You want to see my ID to prove that I am over 21. Really. I guess all that walking and good food was helping”. Then I thought this absurd carding of someone who is 63 is what you get in rules based society.

Everywhere we went we were confronted with a rules based approach to everything. Restaurants that don’t have waiters but iPads to order and pay. Supposedly efficient but doesn’t give any advice and still asks for a 20% tip. A financial sector that is obsessed with compliance, when the entire financial meltdown was caused by regulated companies. An airport that is completely failing at processing passengers because their systems are about procedures and rules and not about what is sensible. A car service like Uber has no customer service to call. A primitive primary system for electing a President that lasts forever and a nominee can be completely disregarded if a group of super delegates decide. Paper cup holders to prevent people from burning themselves and suing the restaurant. Infrastructure collapsing all around until it actually collapses, then it will be repaired, and on and on and on.

Didn’t anyone hear about common sense. Principles based approach is values driven and sensible. What will work in the most effective way in avoiding problems. being cost effective, dealing with needs and avoiding litigation. Don’t worry, Donald Game of Thrones Trump will build the wall.

Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes.

Ralph Waldo Emerson