‘Laws Are For What?’ The University Professor Asked

Laws are for what?

First day of class, the law professor walked in. The first thing he did was ask for the name of a student sitting in the front row:

What’s your name?”

“My name is Nelson.”

“Get out of my class and never come back!,” the professor ordered him.

Nelson was confused. The teacher was heading towards him, he got up quickly, packed his stuff and left the classroom.

Everyone was scared and outraged but no one was talking.

Very Good! Let’s get it started. What are laws for? asked the professor.

The students were still scared, but slowly they started answering the question.

🔹To have order in our society.
No! No!

🔹So that the wrong people pay for their actions.
No ! No ! Does anyone know the answer to this question?

🔹”For justice to be done,” spoke shyly a young girl.
Finally ! Justice! But what is justice?

Everyone was starting to get mad at the professor’s attitude. However, they kept answering.

🔹 To protect the rights of the people…
Okay. But still?

🔹 To differentiate good from evil, to reward those who do good.
Okay… so answer this question, did I act right when I kicked Nelson out of class?

Everyone was silent, no one responded.

I want an unanimous answer!

🔹”NO!” They answered with one voice.
Could we say I did an injustice?

And why has nobody done anything about it ? Why do we want laws and rules if we don’t have the will to practice them? Each of you is obliged to speak up when you witness an injustice. All of them! All of them! Don’t ever keep quiet again!
Go get Nelson. After all, he is the professor. I’m from another period.
You know, when we don’t stand up for our rights, dignity is lost, and dignity can’t be negotiated. Laws are for what?

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.


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