Do you follow the rules? I did. Sometimes I can’t believe that I used to be Miss Goody-Two-Shoes when I was young. Oh yes, the one word that appeared on my school report card under the column ‘Conduct’ was ‘Responsible’. And I took that really seriously too.
Do You Follow The Rules?
It’s fine to be ‘responsible’ but then it’s not too great when you start censoring every normal reaction to make sure it meets the approval of others! I found it difficult to be spontaneous. I’m happy to report that as I grow older, I’m learning not to care about what others think of me!
Don’t get me wrong here – it doesn’t mean that I give myself licence to be spontaneous at the cost of hurting other people. That’s not spontaneity. That’s insensitivity, don’t you think?. I’m learning to be free of embarrassment and awkwardness and voice my true feelings better.
I’m learning to be free of unnecessary formality. So rather than stick to what’s prescribed by polite society, I now prefer doing what I think is the good thing to do at that particular moment. In the process, I’m being nicer to me! And when I’m nicer to me, it’s easier to be kind to others too.
I think the best rule that one can follow is kindness. You can’t go wrong with kindness, can you?
No one says it better than Mary Oliver who said: I believe in kindness. Also in mischief. Also in singing, especially when singing is not necessarily prescribed.
What about you? Are you spontaneous or guided by the rules?
Linking in to Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday Weekly Link up
Surely if we’re normal and decent human beings, the answer is “both.” Even the most buttoned-up rules-follower, HM Queen Elizabeth II, managed to have tea and jam sandwiches with an indecorous Paddington Bear, to the delight of everyone.
Some “rules” are important to follow. Rules against murdering people when they annoy us greatly, for example. But some rules are silly – rules like “never end a sentence with a preposition” (which actually isn’t, and never has been, a rule). And some are fun and harmless to “break” now and then, if only to show that we can be mischievous, silly, and don’t have a sharpened stick up our bums.
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That’s right. We don’t want to be automatons, do we? There’s a place for rules and one for spontaneity.
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