the song “santa clause is coming to town” is a staple during the holiday season. the song was written in 1934. the fact that has remained popular for approximately 86 years is in part due to its lyrics. the song has one poignant line about life: “so be good for goodness sake.”
the ten commandments contain no consequences for the failure to comply or abide by them. thus, looking at them in insolation, it could be said that we should act with ten commandments’ morals and values for the sake of having morals and values.
the bigger picture of society, however, is not an ideal state. society deals with the reality that there must be consequences for actions. thus, the torah, in other sections, lays out penalty and punishment for non-compliance with respect to matters within the ten commandments.
thus, our belief systems for the world are two-fold: the hopeful and the real.
the ten commandments represents our being good for goodness sake. we all need hope in our lives. also, we all need the real. our holiday season gives us that brief moment of hope for the world. perhaps, the popularity of the song “santa clause is coming to town” is the notion of what a world would be like if people acted for goodness sake. how wonderful would it be if all people acted in a proper fashion!
there are many in our society that act out of goodness. they really need no punishment or consequences to act with morals and values. there are, however, a significant part of our populations that operate on a risk-based analysis. they will transgress depending on the stakes involved. they will steal if there is an unlikelihood that they will be caught. they will commit a crime if the punishment is a mere slap on the wrist. thus, we have the reality of needing punishments and consequences in play.
in sum, we can all have our moments of hope of a world where people act out of goodness and best intentions. it is a wonderful peaceful thought. we, however, must remember the realities of our society. there unfortunately must be a justice system that operates to deter those without good intentions to abstain from immoral conduct. too often, our leaders are blinded by hope and fail to account for the reality.
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