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Kill Devil Hills, NC, United States
Trying to connect my present with the past in order to fly through the future.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Word of the Day - Mandatory

When I was a kid I was told that if I didn't know the meaning of a word I should find a dictionary and look it up. I have decided to practice now what I was taught then.

MANDATORY-authoritatively ordered; obligatory; compulsory: It is mandatory that all students take two years of math; pertaining to, of the nature of, or containing a command;  Law permitting no option; not to be disregarded or modified: a mandatory clause; having received a mandate.
This past week we have been watching the impending approach of Hurricane Irene. On Thursday, the local government issued a Mandatory Evacuation Order for visitors/non-residents. 24-hours later a Mandatory Evacuation Order was issued for residents. Through heart, soul, logical and emotional hurdles, I departed my little hovel and set out on a long weekend to my sister's home 250 miles away. Why did I search these four corners of myself? I should have just packed a bag and gone. There shouldn't have been any thinking about this matter at all. Why? Because apparently, mandatory does not mean mandatory. It really means if you want to, whatever.

Why are these orders not required?  Is there a legal grounds for not being forced to leave your home?  I understand, and agree with, the fact that someone else really shouldn't have the right to tell me that I have to abandon my property. If I want to stay and 'protect' my property, I should have that right - without the fear of being threatened or scared off (another story you can read about another time).

I suppose my big rant here today, and many other time in the past and undoubtedly in the future, is that new phrases should be used. If not you are not REQUIRED to go; If you really can stay behind if you so choose, then the governments should stop calling these orders Mandatory Evacuations.  I feel that the word Mandatory was chosen so that the powers that be cannot be blamed for any damages, injuries or death to parties that defy this order. I feel it is sad that people or organizations or governments have to worry about what a person is going to do after said person has made a decision of their own free will and then gotten into some kind of trouble. People need to start taking responsibility for their decisions and stop trying to look to blame someone else.

If a group cannot force a person to do something don't call it Mandatory. Use another word, there are a plethora of words you could use to get your point across...say, Evacuation Advisory.... Maybe the process would go like this. Mandatory Non-Resident Evacuation....Evacuation Advisory for Residents.

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