Ten “Shall Nots” Are Stronger Than Three Thousand “Shalls”

In all of my years of growing up, and yes I’m still growing up, I can remember the instructions of “shall nots” over all other lessons taught to me by my elders. As a baby, I was told “no” over and over until I realized that the stove was hot or that there were certain places in the house that I was not to venture into. Growing into a child, I found out real fast that my childhood would contain many more “shall nots” than “shalls” when it came to instruction on right from wrong. And, the punishment for doing a “shall” when it was suppose to be a “shall not” was a learning opportunity
that is still engrained in my adult conscious today.
From the beginning of time, man has had to deal with “shalls” and more times than not, the “shall nots” have seemed to have been what has kept him out of trouble if he would only listen. It all began back in the Garden of Eden when God told man to leave a certain tree alone and talked to him point blank that he shall not eat or even touch that tree in the middle of the garden. But, the woman started listening to the serpent and he used the “shall” word. The rest of the story we all should know. And it is, ever since Eve got the apple, mankind has had to deal with what to do with the core.
I guess that is why when I see a lot of legal laws and bills that contain the word “shall” I often feel like it is time once again to try to do something with all of the cores that will soon be coming my way. Right now up in Washington, there is a health care reform legislation piece that contains more than 1,900 pages and has within its contents the word “shall” more than 3,000 times. But, unlike the time the serpent used the “shall” word on Eve, giving her permission to misunderstand God, the “shall” words used in this highly debated manuscript mean I will be “required” – I “must” ““ or I “will” do whatever the law says. I have never been one who has ever enjoyed being flat out told that I “will” do something when I just didn’t think it is right and this legislation is something that has several wrongs built into it.
Our health system may could use reform, but to use more than 450,000 words of mandates, taxes, and demands on the American people is not the answer for reforming a system that still involves the private sector and not under complete government control. When you add debate on public insurance plans, abortion, higher taxes on certain wage earners and mandating states to take on more debt at a time when they can’t handle their own budget needs, you have “shalled” yourself right into a “shall not.” The “shall not” in this creation of more than 1,900 pages of bureaucracy is you shall
not kill the golden goose, which is the hard working American taxpayer.
Providing affordable health care for all of America’s citizens may sound like a “shall” to some people. But, “making” everyone carry health insurance sounds more like a “shall not” to me. Health care is primarily the responsibility of individuals, and to mandate individual coverage on people who can’t afford it to begin with goes against a lot of the freedoms this country is known for.
Passing a mandate accompanied by the threat of a tax for noncompliance only makes the situation worse for people unable to afford coverage in the first place, such as middle-income tax payers and farmers to name a few. Private, market-based reform is something that needs to be looked at more so by our congress than government-run insurance programs.
Growing up it only took ten “Thou shall nots” to keep me straight and today those “shall nots” still are a part of my daily and social actions. I don’t need 3,000 “shalls” to manage my health care.