Rules and Passion


Are rules and passions really antonyms? Or is it possible that passion is nestled comfortably in the allegedly rigid world of law where it is, in fact, indispensable for the very creation of those rules and regulations? And if the so-called oxymoron “passion and rules” is conceivable in the legal domain, why not at work too?

Strange as it may seem, the question is hardly frivolous. History offers many examples of the common bond between passion and law. The Mahatma and Martin Luther King taught us that passion can guide radical reforms of a whole nation’s ruling systeman extraordinary modus operandi when compared to the ordinary capacity of legislative assemblies around the globe. The same lesson can be drawn from the exemplary examples of the Italian judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, who consciously gave their lives in the war against international organized crime. We could mention many more whose courage was rooted in such passion.

So passion may indeed be the beginning of regulation. It may be read in the footprints of every visionary ruler. How could we otherwise understand the first articles of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, or the famous motto of the French Revolution, “Liberté, Fraternité, Egalité,” whose messages hang in the air today?

The more ambitious the innovation, the more essential a passionate approach. Consider Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,” selected as the anthem of the European Union. Here is clear evidence that a community of member States originally formed for economic purposes has chosen to broaden its misson: it will, embracing the standards of other historic transformations, strive to become a political union based on common fundamental rights. No simple matter. But with both passion and law, it can be done.