Rule Followers and Rule Breakers

Maybe there are more than 2 types of people in the world… (DUH)… but for today’s conversation, let’s just break them down to 2.

                Rule Followers (RFs)

                Rule Breakers (RBs)

Now let’s add a little twist and give those 2 sub-types.

                Enlightened Rule Followers (ERFs)

                Enlightened Rule Breakers (ERBs)

I’d be the Rule Breaker type. So I’ll just put that out there right up front.  

There was a day when I lived an RB kind of life, but I’ve now graduated to the enlightened group. Let me explain.

There are such vast differences in perception between RBs and RFs that often they can’t get along with each other at all. The down side of the rule breaker category, I must admit, could be living outside the law, and that is not good.

But the upside RBs are the innovators, the creative sorts, often entrepreneurs that just dare the world to tell them something is impossible so they can go out and make it happen.

Those at the low end of the RF category are pointing fingers at those who break out of the norm and sometimes push the envelope to the limit. So, there can be a lot of judgment going back and forth between the 2 groups even though it is these very differences that make the world go around.

Now we come to the enlightened group on both sides. These people have a lot going for them.

Having dropped their judgments about people who think entirely different from them, they are now open to enjoy and revel in the unique and special talents of the opposite group.

One of my best friends is the ultimate Rule Follower.  She follows the rules, TO THE LETTER no matter what. Don’t try to get her to fudge on anything. She doesn’t go even one mile over the speed limit, always uses her blinkers, gets off the phone when there is lightning, etc.

You get the picture.

Me being a rule breaker, I ignore all of those at times. And some of them ALL THE TIME. Speed limit? What’s that? (just kidding, kinda)

So, how can we be the best of friends?

It is the word ‘enlightened’ that makes the difference.

When I suggest that she do something that might be a slight infraction of ‘the rules’, she starts to explain why she can’t. And… even as she starts, I say,

“Oh yea, you’re a rule follower.”

And then we both laugh.  You can’t make a person go against their basic nature and we should all give up on trying. We’d be a lot happier.

When I tell her my hair-brained ideas, or wend a wild tale about something that seems too far out to be possible, she just cheers me on.  Breaking the rules seems as impossible to her as keeping them is for me, but we take joy in the differences and use them for comic relief. 

Secretly…….. (Don’t ever tell her I told you this)

I think there is a hidden rule breaker somewhere inside her… that lives vicariously thru me.


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2 Responses to “Rule Followers and Rule Breakers”

  1. Yi Chen (@usvagrant) Says:

    Any bad consequences for you as a RBs? Or, in another words, what did you gain for not being a RFs?

    I am a kinda RB, and now thinking about to become a RF, because too many bad thing happened and could happen. You violate the rules, and if lucky nobody catch you. Otherwise, bad fortune.

    • dinadove Says:

      When I speak about being a rule breaker, I’m not speaking of breaking the law or living outside the bounds of society. I’m not speaking of anything that would generally be considered harmful to myself or another.

      Creativity, thinking outside the box, and finding original solutions to challanges that most people would see as impossiblities is more what I’m referring to. For instance, a manager may say that he is unwilling to speak to any potential job applicants. That could stop most people. But I would push the envelope by finding a way to speak to him/her if I believe that my best chance to get the job is to make the connection.

      I’m also speaking of independent thinking. Just because the staus quo accepts that things should be a particular way, does not necessarily means that is correct. However, one must be thoughtful and not buck the norm simply because it is the norm. When I make a decision, it is always with full knowledge that I will be accountable for my actions. When you have conviction about the path you are taking, you are willing to take responsiblity for your choices.

      To follow your own intuition and unique path is not always the easiest choice, but it is the choice that leads you back to your true self.

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