Tuesday, October 04, 2022

My relationship with rules

I don't respect rules, not automatically. Doesn't matter if you call them "laws", legislation, policies, or whatever. 

I don't go looking for rules to break, but I also don't ask what the rules are before I act. I'm not necessarily going out of my way to violate the rules, but if one seems arbitrary to me, chances are I'm not going to pay much attention to it either way. 

I'm not saying this is the best way to live or anything like that; I am just saying this is how it is. How I am.

“I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein

If you can explain to me the reason behind the rule-- explain why it's not arbitrary or why it is needed-- and if I'm convinced that the reason makes sense, I will change my mind about it. If you can't, that rule has just lost every shred of credibility with me.

Perhaps surprisingly, I expect the same from others-- including my daughter-- regarding rules I make up. If I can't reasonably explain the "why", then my rule is most likely nonsense, too.

Funny how often even asking for an explanation triggers those behind the rules. To them, rules must not be questioned. To me, every rule must be questioned and sufficiently justified.

Rules against harming others are well justified. Most others, not so much.


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