I don’t like rules. They form boundaries, structures and define responsibilities- all concepts that I struggle with…I also struggle with titles and defined job descriptions…but that’s another story entirely.
Having said that I don’t like rules, I should also say that I follow them.
At home, I was the one always home by curfew, who didn’t drink until I was of age, who didn’t allow a boy to interfere with my schoolwork (let alone anything else…at least back then!). The only trouble I got in was for arguing and answering back- pretty much the same thing, in my mind.
At school I was mostly the same…except for that time in Year 9 when I refused to study Lord of the Flies because I disagreed with the concept. After a week of being made to stand outside in the cold (it was the middle of winter in a country town that rarely made it past single figure highs) the English master called me to his office.
He couldn’t understand why I- who had been, until that moment, a high achieving and model student- had such a problem with this book. Because I was able to demonstrate that not only had I read the text, but understood it and could argue why it offended me so much, he decided that I’d fulfilled that part of the syllabus.
At work I also follow the rules- mostly. Again the only exceptions have been for causes I truly believe in (ban the bell curve springs to mind…as do a few other campaigns we won’t talk about for fear of recriminations)….oh and there was that time an old boss tried to tell me how I should think…let’s not go there.
I rebel in other ways- usually through what I do, what I write, how I think, what I believe in, and the music I listen to. Politically and attitudinally (is that a word?) I think very differently to many of our friends. My interests are also more unusual and my motivations often unconventional. In some ways, that’s deliberate.
When I do stray to the edges of where I’m supposed to be, it will be when I feel that somehow the rule impedes on my creativity, or my free will, or my ability to feel or think in the way that I choose to feel or think.
The lead character in the manuscript I’m currently drafting has a thing for self-imposed rules- those ones that we set for ourselves in order to keep ourselves from exposing our vulnerabilities. She’s using them to try and bring some order into the chaos that she’s created for herself.
The thing is, many of our rules and laws are there to protect stupid people….or thoughtlessly stupid people…or thoughtlessly stupid people who have no idea about the impact of their own behaviour or words on either themselves or others.
It’s why pretty well any rule I follow falls into the following. I think it’s pagan or wiccan or something…actually I have no idea where it comes from, but it makes absolute sense to me:
Do and say as you will as long as…
- It doesn’t impact others
- Doesn’t impede on the free will or speech of others
- You expect that karma will come back and bite you (possibly even three times) if you go against any of the above.
Oh, and no matter how late, tired or drunk you are, take your make-up off before you go to bed.
What about you and rules? Are you besties, or do you pick and choose?
Linking up in the confessional today with My Home Truths…