As my high school batch mates will attest, one of the more unforgettable characters we had during that time was a then-substitute teacher and lawyer-to-be whom we fondly nicknamed “Success”. The reason for this, on his very first-day, he launched into an impassioned rhetoric on how to achieve success in life. Throughout the rest of our final year, no matter what the subject, he would inject it seamlessly in the discussion. At first, we didn’t take notice, but later on, all of us awaited the very moment when he would insert the subject of success into his talk. And at that, we’d all start laughing.
In case generations today can’t relate, he’s what one could call the forerunner of inspirational speakers we often see today on IG or FB. Better still, because of his fiery deliveries, he might as well be one of those bible-swearing street preachers we see daily who screech more than preach.
Anyway, the one other thing he taught us, which was perhaps the more important, was about the Latin term Dura Lex Sed Lex, which means “The law is hard but it is still the law”. As a side-joke, we thought this was why it was later adopted by a branded glassware as it was also supposedly unbreakable.
Come to think of it, with the way things are, how does Dura Lex, said Lex fare against the people it was meant to rule nowadays? During socials with some friends, we agreed, the law may be hard but people have mutated so well we’ve actually made so much progress in breaking it. for one, how many jeepney drivers have we heard tell us about the eleventh commandment: Don’t get caught.
Then, we might as well blanket-bomb everyone: rich, poor, farmer, doctor, politician, pedo laymen and every other Tarpulano. Surely, they can relate. At this, who cannot help but be reminded of that one guy who hit the proverbial bullseye when he said, he who is without sin, cast the first stone. Or of a pop show host who once ended his show with the quip: don’t lie because liars go to hell. Oh well.
‘Don’t get caught’ may indeed be accurate in many cases but what about others who get caught, serve sentence, but could still cast (not a stone) but their vote and then still get elected as senators and what-else? Surely, all must think some among our specie must indeed be above dura lex sed lex. In sharp contrast, for the common man, the law applies, often with a gauntlet.
Then there is the argument that what’s truly needed is the strict enforcement of the law. The perfect follow-up to its being hard. A troll in our discussion has however thrown the perfect counterpunch. She sneered, the law may be hard, enforcement may be there, but what can you do if the head is harder.
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