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The Rules Don’t Apply to You

How would you feel if you knew, no matter what you did, you couldn’t be punished or held accountable? How would it change the way you treated people? Would you decide to cheat…steal…or kill?

How far would you go?

In the 2013 film The Purge, citizens were allowed to act out their murderous impulses once a year, during a 12-hour period.

That’s a terrifying premise that opens the door for a talk about ethics. Even though you’re within the law, you’re still…committing a crime.right_decision_wrong_decision

Yikes.

Oh, but if it were me, you might say, I wouldn’t act any differently. I know right from wrong. I’m a good person.

But how long before you were tempted? You might start small, like “borrowing” something that didn’t belong to you then “forgetting” to return it, or fibbing about something that’s not really important. But once you realize NOTHING’S GOING TO HAPPEN if you __________, how long would it be before you decided to up the stakes a little and do something really bad?

That brings up thoughts of Harry Potter and Horcruxes and how committing an unforgivable act maims your soul. But it would also give you power. It’s easy to see how it could become a habit, and not a one-time thing…

The way people respond to incentives and consequence is a common theme in books, and we experience it every day.

If your parents nag you to clean up your room “or else” and threaten some unspecified consequences that never happen, you’re not likely to worry when they start to yell, because they never follow through. Right?

Imagine a life where you make the rules and everyone else is required to follow them. You can’t have people running around killing each other. Someone might try to kill you!

You made the rules. You have the power to break them.previewWhoNeedsRules

Now substitute “you” for “Office of Civilian Safety and Defense.”

Tommy and Careen face powerful adversaries in The Resistance Series when they square off against Dr. Lowell Stratford and Madalyn Davies of the OCSD.

How can two teenagers level the playing field when the OCSD has all the power? It’s not going to be easy…

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