Virtues & Laws

University campuses cannot be insulated from the divided nation which USA is now. Alt right & Alt left has consumed the middle. The audio-visual of a recent argument between the two fellow students (in UC Berkeley campus) is so rich that one has to view in order to fully absorb it. Watch the YouTube video before you read further:

“Make America Great Again (MAGA) hat” is both a property owned by a student and a symbol of right-wing politics for another student. So the argument began.

World over, young university students who are new to politics feel strongly about what they believe in and are generally intolerant to differences. Their world is governed by virtue, idealism. We were all like that in that age. I understand the emotions.

But Virtue is not law. An argument around ownership is legal whereas the argument around its symbolism is virtue. While law is enforced, virtue cannot be enforced. Virtue is voluntary and seeking virtue in others requires leadership skills – strong communication skills, persuasiveness, charisma, and ability to build trust.

An activist’s approach to influence through virtue is not always successful. Gandhi, Mandela, Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa and many others successfully combined activism with leadership skills. All of them were tolerant to conflicts between Law & virtue. They understood the necessity of struggle to bring change. They knew they were in it for long and did not expect quick fixes.

Whenever law & virtue are in conflict with one another law gets enforced quickly. It takes years of struggle to influence law makers to change laws. Whenever, one law is in conflict with the other, constitutional courts should decide which one is fundamental. Whenever one virtue is in conflict with the other, society should debate.

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