It is a universal truth that human civilization always needs a ruler. Without a ruler, no civilization can exist. Even the greatest civilization breaks, when the ruler becomes weak. The human beings had been ruled by every possible being in the past. They have been ruled by kings, queens, dictators, Bishops, Priests, Prophets, dacoits, thugs, communists or elected representatives. Yet all the rulers had been human beings whom we could know and identify.
The modern world is ruled by Laws instead of human beings. Most civilized nations take pride in claiming that they have the rule of law instead of the rule of any individual. Laws have become so supreme that even the real rulers like Presidents and Prime Ministers are supposed to be subordinate to it. Thomas Fuller, an English churchman and historian rightly expressed the ethos of rule of law in the following words
“Be you ever so high, the law is above you”.
Law is considered to be impersonal as it can be written in words and codified in the law books. It gives a feeling to the citizen that everyone is equal before the law, be it the President/ Prime Minister of a country or an ordinary person. Good people respect laws as they believe that the laws are made for the benefit of the society while the criminals break the laws to make fortune for themselves.
Yet everyone suffers in the hands of law which cannot be seen or heard. Laws have become like a prison that is suffocating the modern man. There is hardly any act of joy or happiness which is not prohibited by one law or other. Hence the law abiders lose happiness as they have nothing to enjoy by following the law while the law breakers lose happiness since they always fear that the long hand of laws can catch them and punish them.
It is a great ignorance of human beings to treat laws like an innate object that lacks human qualities. In reality, laws are like any other human being and your relationships with law would depend upon your understanding of the law. Let us discuss the human attributes of laws.
Law is a Friend
Most people abide the laws particularly in developed countries as they find laws friendly and useful to the society. They know that if everyone follows the law, the society would become much better and happy. If you abide laws, you shall find law as your friend which shall always help you in having a happy life.
Law is an Enemy
Often we find that the laws work like our enemy as it conflicts with our aspiration. If you are a poor man and you are not entitled to any right by the law, you may find laws as enemy as they do not allow to live you a respectable life. If you try to steal or try to earn a living by illegal method, you are branded as criminal and put behind the bars.
Law is a Guide
For many people, law acts as guide since laws tell them the difference between the right and wrong path. If they follow the legal path, they generally end up becoming good citizens and good human beings while following the illegal path make them evil before the world and before the Lord.
Law is a Philosopher
There may be hundreds and even thousands of laws in a country on different topics. Yet all laws have a common philosophy and spirit. If you know the laws of a country you know the philosophy of its people. For example, the countries who give death sentence for murder have a different philosophy than those who do not have capital punishment. Thus laws can be treated like philosophers of the nation and one who wishes to live a happy life must understand the philosophy of laws of his country.