March 26, 2020
Punishment is a conflicted engagement: on the surface, the power balance is not always evident. To not punish is a dangerous choice. All leniency achieves is to reinforce the belief that rules are discretionary and that they can be waived, even flouted, with impunity. Leniency widens the grey area of licence, choices expand, and personal responsibility shrinks. When rules are accidentally or deliberately ignored for personal benefit, the line that holds normalcy in place is crossed and what was established becomes unstable and fragile and the conditions and assumptions that support a normal life start to fail, benefitting no-one.