Law of contradiction
One way or the other
Well, hurricane Erica fizzled out and it was sunny this morning so I went for a swim. At first I was one of three people and I was free to swim in any direction I chose, but one lady had a relative who seemed a little mentally slow and I wasn't sure where he was going so I decided to swim laps the width of the pool. As it wasn't too early and I got a late start others started to trickle in the pool, probably relieved after being cooped up in anticipation of Erica. They all slowly swam or walked across the pool so my decision was the right one.
I finished some laps, then did some stretching and lay out to get a little sun before the clouds started to come. A man who I didn't recognize entered the pool and he began to do the backstroke lengthwise oblivious to all the people walking width wise. Nobody said anything and I wondered if I was the only one it bothered. Anyhow, it got cloudier and I got dressed to leave and stopped to speak to Elizabeth, an acquaintance, swimmer, Peruvian, new facebook friend whose daughter just got married far away in Las Vegas.
After listening a bit I noticed the man was still in the pool going the wrong way and I said to Elizabeth “He's going the wrong way. Wondering if I should say something.” Her answer was '”Ah, leave him alone. Let him be free.” Hmmmmm. So I did and left. Definitely the easier way. If the man was Mike Tyson I probably wouldn't have said anything either. But he wasn't.
So here it is. Rules were there and I sacrificed my own swimming comfort to follow them. We have a right to diplomatically and carefully correct others who don't, as it is for the general good. Or, should we, a la libertarian style, let things work themselves out naturally. Let the forces just build by themselves and actions and reactions would occur just naturally. People are tired of being programmed and micro managed and listening to authority. On the other hand the 'anything goes' policy often lets the selfish and forceful and inconsiderate have their way and others quietly become victimized.
So, as with everything, its a moment by moment decision. Also to be considered is the tolerance of the person who sees what is wrong but is not sure whether to act or not. A negative interaction can discolor your entire day. Oh my. It's just a simple thing but even simple things aren't always so easy.