Norms Abandoned => Become Requirements

Frequently, one becomes aware of norms when they are violated. Someone facing you directly in an elevator breaks a norm. You always had a sense of how it was supposed to be, but now you are jolted into awareness that what is going on is wrong, an aberration, or at least against the norm.

Once a norm is made explicit, it is no longer a norm. Now it is a requirement, if you want to keep it. It can even be a rule, regulation, or law. A norm that everyone abides by does not require spelling out, enforcement, and accountability. For example, simple human decency or civility may draw a willing response from most people, so it only needs to become part of a regulation when it is ignored, contradicted, acted against.

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