The majority (if not all) of the blog posts so far have dealt with applying course themes to events in the news, sports, big issues or some other part of popular culture, but I think a huge number of blogs on the Internet today deal with people’s personal lives. The anonymity allows a lot of people to just spill their feelings all over the Internet, and I think they find it cathartic, and people definitely find it interesting to read. So, anyway to get to my original point, I thought it would be cool to apply the course themes to a personal problem I’m dealing with. I don’t think the problem is that huge of a deal in the grand scheme of things, and it’s definitely not the first of its kind. And I’m not writing to complain about it, but I think it’s ripe for interpretation using what we’ve learned about Thoreau and Lincoln.
Anyway, onto the issue itself. So I am part of a housing group of 7 people next year and we were able to get a lease for what we consider to be pretty much our dream house. (Look at it for yourself. It’s got a pretty awesome location: http://tinyurl.com/cehfbbw) It has tons of room, heating and A/C and we’re all in love with it. So that’s great, but the catch is that, yes, our housing group is co-ed. Obviously there are some difficulties that come with this fact, but we’ve set up a few rules to help out. We’ve picked separate bathrooms, checked with everyone’s parents, and, above all, agreed to no in-house dating. Well, as of recently, two people (Person A and Person B, they’ll be called) in our group have sparked a romantic interest. This certainly has introduced some problems for us as a group, and I want to look at the issue in light of what we’ve recently learned.
So I am viewing this instance as Persons A & B being individuals with a discrepancy with the “laws” of the “government,” with the “laws” being our house rules and the “government” being the other 5 residents (myself included). How can they react to this discrepancy? If they think the same way as Thoreau, in that they find that securing their relationship is most important and that the government is infringing upon that right, do they simply break the law and act on their individual beliefs if they think injustice is occurring? Do the other members of the household have a right to act on what may be a perceived injustice? Or what if they Heed Lincoln’s warning—that the interests and regulations of the state are generally more well-thought out than individual passion? Should Persons A & B then do as Lincoln said, and settle for less than what they want, so as to not disrupt the system and create further chaos? If they disrespect the rules before we have even moved into the house, does that set a precedent for further rule breaking?
Now, I seriously doubt that this is the kind of menial thing that the two classic political thinkers had in mind when discussing their beliefs, and it’s certainly a stretch, but nonetheless, I think their debate applies in some ways. And, God, do I hope Lincoln wins this time.