Point At Issue: Are Some Rules Meant To Be Broken?


While some may feel the shackles of over regulated societal customs, others loosen these constraints by justifying a sense of pliability in interactive norms.

These norms range from federally established law, common courtesy, and stretch to the point of personal convenience.

The manipulation of so-called “rules meant to be broken” is no new idea in a culture dependent on making it through individual circumstance.

But at what point does the self-determination of what rules should be followed undermine a communal precedent of appropriate behaviors?

The concept of breaking rules we feel do not fit the prototype of our everyday lives can lead to a slippery slope which encourages cultural disobedience and limited form anarchy.

This is not because of the specific rules being broken, but because no governing body, formal or informal, can define which rules are negotiable.

Rules are rules. There is a reason why they were created.

With this being said, long accepted guidelines of laws and decency are broken everyday by people who run the gamut from model citizen to menace of society.

This is because of the applicability of established ideology in the realm of everyday life.

A classic example is going over the speed limit when driving.

It is well known that one can go over the speed limit and dodge discipline from peers or authoritative figures.

While it seems harmless on the surface, it does not stop the guy who is being passed at 80 miles per hour from mumbling curses under his or her breath.

In this case, it is not whether the law is being broken, but the extent to which the violation goes beyond the regulation.

Though pragmatic, this incepts an idea of inherent wiggle room which is then judged by personal opinion, or bias, rather than equal consequence levied in accordance with previously recognized order.

Some take facets of this idea beyond the realm of personal convenience and bring them into relationships with the ones they love.

Those who do so find ways to soften the blow of typically negative action by cushioning it with individualistic situation.

Within a household or in regard to loved ones this usually comes in the form of “white lies.”

White lies are those which seem trivial or harmless on the surface.

The idea of any violation of social protocol being trivial is just a way to justify a spurious claim of one who feels they can control the feelings of others and consequences they are due.

Just like in the case of violated speed limits, it is up to someone who had no involvement in the creation of the rule to determine whether or not the breach of trust goes past the point of acceptable behavior.

The question then becomes — How can we take the initiative to change laws and customs we feel bind us to a lower quality of life?

In public policy, it could be as simplistic as taking a stand in the community and be heard from our lawmakers.

At times, it can be as difficult as having to accept the rule which is hindering the hope of practicality in cultural convention.

On a personal level, it requires being active in the charge to modernize accepted norms and tolerance within our community.

When it is all said and done, it comes down to honesty.

Can we be honest in our trajectory or must we be snared in the trap of common inevitability?

To truly set course to a fair and just world we have to understand rules are not meant to be broken, but amended.

There shouldn’t be flexibility in rule, but in the ability to change those rules to fit a sense of current, and future, practicality.

When we run on a slippery slope it is hard to keep balanced, but when we walk on the path of civil reasonability we can achieve the results we desire.

SocietyGreg Metz