Is this the right title for any article? Isn’t it showing my rebellious nature or might create more rebellions out there? These are a few thoughts which came into my mind when I decided to write on this after a brief conversation with my husband where I stubbornly said “I don’t follow rules” but I want people around me to follow them.
I believe I am not the exception here; every single person breaks some rule or other and doesn't follow what he/she expects others to follow or do. Parents seldom follow their own set of rules that they set for their kids, bosses skip a few here and there but expect their subordinates to remember everything, people on roads don’t follow many rules which they want to be adhered by their fellow citizen…examples are many but I guess the ones given here are sufficient to establish my point.
We all know the importance of following rules. Our society and existence demand a certain adherence to rules, values and norms without which we all could get into trouble. Rules should be followed for consistent results. Offices run smoothly by abiding rules, homes run efficiently by following rules, society has rules and laws for ensuring justice, peace, harmony and equality. Sports are more satisfying when played by the rules and relationships are more harmonious if some rules are made and kept too.
Then why this desire to not follow the rules? Why do we want to break them? Let’s explore this little bit in detail.
It is said – “if you keep doing what you have been doing, you will keep getting what you have been getting”. New discoveries won’t be made if we do not deviate from the present. If we stop questioning the status quo, the whole concept of change would fall flat.
Some of us are not very consistent in our daily lives or in other words, are not comfortable with a routine. We constantly try out new thought and ideas. Sometimes, being lazy or being rebellious are a manifestation of the same trait. All is okay till there. The problem begins when we start taking the liberty to obey or challenge rules according to our own choice or volition. We start using this trait to avoid doing something. We start assessing ourselves on a different scale vis-à-vis others.
Every single person possesses the qualities of being an upholder, questioner, a rebel and an obligor. It’s just a matter of time, mood, surrounding and company which brings out one specific characteristic through which we act. If we are conscious of the decision that we are making and which part of our personality is behind that decision, we will learn the trick of deciding when following rules is a must and when we can take liberties.
Next time, when you face a decision whether to follow a rule or not, ask yourself – which part of you is behind this decision?
We must remember that constant consistency brings monotony and too much change creates chaos. We must be able to identify what should be changed and what should not. True principles don’t change, the way of practicing does.
As the surrealist, and classical liberal, author André Thirion wrote, we must know “how to disobey".