Pixel Tracker

Monday, March 18 , 2019, 5:10 pm | Fair 66º

 
 
 
 

Essay: Living the Dream

Kraus essay earns third place in Santa Barbara County Bar Foundation contest.

[Editor’s note: San Marcos High freshman Dillon Kraus’ entry earned third prize in the Santa Barbara County Bar Foundation‘s 2008 Law Week essay contest. The assignment was to write about the rule of law and answer the question, “Why is it important for us as individuals and for the communities and nations in which we live?” Kraus’ San Marcos classmates, Eli Harris and Amy Ransohoff, placed first and second, respectively. Kraus’ essay appears below. Click here for Harris’ essay. Click here for Ransohoff’s essay.]

image
Dillon Kraus (Kraus family photo)

Right and wrong, two simple words that pose such a dilemma to so many people, create the foundation for our society. They create a moral filter through which all of our actions and thoughts are sorted. But these words are inconsistent, seeing as they are so vague; there are limitless ways they can be interpreted. Some people think that certain religious texts are the ultimate law and should be followed unconditionally. Others think that laws are mere guidelines and should be taken into consideration, but are flexible. This difference in views and this lack of a universal train of thought is what makes us human, but also what makes laws so fundamentally flawed. It is impossible for laws to direct all people in the same direction, seeing as all people’s life compasses point in different directions. Still, laws are very important because they protect us and they keep our country in order. This is why we must have them. Although many people do not follow laws exactly, everyone except a rare few follow the guidelines, and are able to live within the boundaries of civilized modern society.

When I walk down the street at night, I feel safe, not because I know it is impossible to be attacked, but because I know we live in a society in which there are always repercussions for our actions. This is one of the main tactics and effects of the law. It is not that people are not able to break it, but they know that the punishment will always be worse than the reward, no matter what. This way law can catch all crimes in one net. It, of course, has specific punishments for each transgression, but the general idea is to make no crime worthwhile. This is a very simple concept, but it is the reason that laws are obeyed. Since, for the most part, laws are obeyed, our world is civilized and under control.

The main function of laws is to protect us, from each other as individuals, from groups, and from large organizations, such as corporations and governments. We are protected from each other for easily apparent reasons, such as crime and murder, or even car accidents. If people could go around doing what they wanted to who they wanted, this would be a very scary and unsafe world. It would be even more dangerous if the same was true for groups and parties, because much of the same would happen, just on a larger scale, and chaos would break loose. Finally, laws protect us from large organizations. The mention of government and corporations may sound strange to some, but the right to protest, go on strike, form unions, and even to vote are common examples. What is the First Amendment but the greatest example of a law protecting us from our government? Without this amendment there would be nothing to stop us from losing our freedom of speech and expression.

Laws are the foundation of our civilization. They are the guidelines and boundaries in which all people must live. Without them, life would lapse into chaos and there would be no way to live an ordinary life. There would be nothing to keep us safe and protect us from the injustices that would become a common reality. Without laws, the flawed order of modern society as we know it would be a quaint dream of unattainable beauty.

Dillon Kraus is a freshman at San Marcos High.

Support Noozhawk Today!

Our professional journalists work tirelessly to report on local news so you can be more informed and engaged in your community. This quality, local reporting is free for you to read and share, but it's not free to produce.

You count on us to deliver timely, relevant local news, 24/7. Can we count on you to invest in our newsroom and help secure its future?

We provide special member benefits to show how much we appreciate your support.

Email
I would like give...
Great! You're joining as a Red-Tailed Hawk!
  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.