BEPPLE – We live in a time of rules, but we don’t need them for everything


We’re told when to wear a mask.  How many people we can celebrate with. How fast we can drive.  Where we can buy alcohol and cannabis.  How long we can park before we get a ticket.  So many rules.

But, having just passed another winter solstice, and heading towards New Year’s Eve, it’s good to know that there are so many things in life that don’t need rules.

There’s no rule making us feel hope when the days are getting longer. Or to wish each other a Happy New Year.

There’s no rule for holding open a door, letting a car merge in front of us, waving at the engineer of a passing train.

There is no rule that makes us smile and wave our hand gently when we see a baby.  We just all do it.

There’s no rule that makes a child skip as they walk down the sidewalk.  That’s just what they do.

No one sent us a letter telling us to put up Christmas lights to make the neighborhood brighter, but there they are, twinkling against the snow every evening.

Over and over again, the COVID rules we have to deal with keep changing. From whether we can go to a sports game, eat at a restaurant, gather with friends, worship with others, or go shopping.  It’s wearing to know what we can and cannot do.

Which is why it is so reassuring that, without any rules, people all over the city are collecting goods and distributing hampers to those that need.  Without any rules, people are gathering up toques, mitts and scarfs, and putting them places where others can find them.  There’s no rule telling people to enjoy the snow, with skiing, snowshoeing and outdoor skating.

Rules can be daunting, and discouraging.  Since COVID, they’ve changed and changed again.  I’ve lost track of what they all are, except to keep a mask handy in my pocket, and my bubble small.

Maybe you’re like me.  Frustrations have been mounting.  Poor snow clearing by the City.  Delayed and cancelled flights by the airlines.  Hours on hold with telephone company. Made more frustrating with the added COVID restrictions.

COVID rules can be daunting.  But they haven’t put a dint our most important rules of all.

Despite the ever changing COVID rules, we still say a little thanks at the winter solstice that the light is returning.  When we’re out for a walk, as we pass each other, even strangers, we wish each other a “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas.”  We exchange small gifts of remembrance.  We find joy in time spent with others, face-to-face or by Zoom.  We find ways to make life a little easier for others.

COVID has taken such a toll.  Our community has suffered great losses of loved ones from COVID.  It hit home again this week with a well known community member dying of COVID.  So now more than ever, the COVID rules matter.  COVID rules protect us from a virus.

But just as importantly, the rules we live by, of kindness, generosity, and thoughtfulness, matter even more.

Of course COVID rules, in the end, are acts of kindness too.  Just another way we care for each other.

Over the holiday season, I wish you time with friends and family, however you can gather.  I hope small kindnesses come your way, and that you pass them on to others as well.  The best of the new year as well.

Nancy Bepple is a former City councillor of Kamloops with a strong interest in community building projects.

About Mel Rothenburger (9504 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

3 Comments on BEPPLE – We live in a time of rules, but we don’t need them for everything

  1. Yes, I don’t need the government to keep me safe, they really do a lousey job of it, I am much better qualified for the job and can provide such service, at a fraction of the cost. Merry Christmas, its when we celebrate the coming of Christ!

  2. Ian MacKenzie // December 22, 2021 at 7:10 AM // Reply

    Nancy – Wonderful and lovely true sentiments! And a happy and more fruitful season season to all readers. But Nancy, tell Mel that protect is spelled with a “c”, not an “s”. The change in meaning is dubious.

  3. Thanks, Nancy.
    This year, a sometimes-miserable-old-man decided that there is indeed more to life than listening to rules. I had a wonderful mother who taught her boys how to cook and knit, just so we “wouldn’t ever be beholden to any woman”. (There’s something about a Scottish lady who raised a big family and was financially poor most of her life.)
    Baking Scottish shortbread to give away……. always well accepted by folks.
    Knitting of 2 scarves to be given to youngsters who may never have had a hand-knit garment before. The 2nd one is to be dropped off on the family’s mailbox Christmas Eve because Santa has asked for help with local deliveries.

    Thanks, mom; you taught your 5 boys well. And, your 3 girls………
    Merry Christmas, Nancy, and to all.

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