Is it jaywalking? Taking office supplies home (although who doesn’t take work home these days)? Eating food whose label says it’s expired? I am curious about what other people do that they’re not supposed to do. Whether it’s actually illegal, possibly unethical, a little immoral, or just against the rules. Whose rules are they anyway? I am a very strict rule follower. Most of the time. I realize we all make exceptions based on what is possible at the moment, or practical, or what we think really matters, or what we can get away with. Sometimes you have to turn left when the light turns red or you’ll never get to turn. Sometimes you eat it even when it’s been sitting out a little too long and hope that no one gets sick. Sometimes you say “no, he’s not available,” when you know your spouse does not want to take a short telephone survey. I guess that’s not a rule you’re breaking, but it is a lie, and technically we’re not supposed to lie, right? But then again, many people would argue that there are occasions where it is ok or even necessary to lie.

I feel like there are so many times when I break the rules–even though I’m a habitual rule follower–that I wonder how other people approach rules? When you break them is it always accidental? Or are there some you just thing are silly and so don’t bother to follow them? Then I wonder how we teach our children when obedience to rules is critical and when it’s not. We don’t want them deciding on their own that following the teacher’s directions to stay in the classroom is optional. Or following our directions not to go into the street. So how do they learn to use their judgment?

What rules are made to be broken?