To walk the straight and narrow should be the natural instinct of a well raised, reasoning person.
And when we say straight and narrow, we understand it to apply to both the private and the public life of a person.
We suggest that a person who cannot walk the straight and narrow in private life will not be able to do so in public life either unless he is constrained by rules, regulations and laws.
Employment, business, conduct in public space as in the case of driving an automobile, etc. have to be conducted carefully with full regard for the enveloping do’s and don’ts. Otherwise, being fired, fined, jailed, business curtailed, reprimanded, image tarnished, etc. become the violator’s lot.
Decisions in private life are free of such burdensome structures. So, foolhardiness can be rampant or little. Whoever walks the straight and narrow in this arena, does so based on one’s personal set of values and virtues. Whoever strays from the straight and narrow does so on his own recognizance. The consequent pain and suffering arising from misconduct may vary from case to case, person to person, age to age, etc. This consequence may be borne alone or befall a group.
However, for example, marriage and parenting, both private matters, may have legal consequences because they occupy social space which is an overlap of public and private spaces or lives. Under reported “extraordinary circumstances”, they are subject to scrutiny, evaluation and reprimand or punishment by legally empowered social institutions. In these cases, there are both private and public consequences.
Now, the person who on his own accord can walk the straight and narrow in the unmonitored, unmetered world of private life should be the one to be less burdened with constraining regulations as he crosses into public life. Some laws will remain in the latter sector, however, so as to handle things like difference of opinions or recalls, interpretation and execution of contracts, promotion of common good or best practice, tertiary effect, etc.
Hence, of two equivalent societies, one with better ordered private life shared by a larger segment of its population is likely either to need fewer laws to manage the public life or be called upon less often to adjudicate using the same laws. The private and public lives of such a society will likely be superior.
That practical spirituality insists on kindness, forgiveness, extending benefit of the doubt, circumspection, composure, forbearance, honesty, sincerity, dependency, straight forwardness, decency, hope, patience, persistence, inclusiveness, contentment, etc. mean that a truly religiously inclined person will be able to carry himself among people cordially, reliably and efficiently without the intervention of laws. His private life will be great and there will be a huge amount of positive spillover into his public life. So, to mature as a private person the path of practical spirituality should be wholeheartedly endorsed and lived.