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What if we didn't have to obey the rules What if we didn't have to obey the rules
by Katerina Charisi
2018-09-16 08:25:56
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Rule: an accepted principle or instruction that states the way things are or should be done, and tells you what you are allowed or are not allowed to do.
You must obey the rules.
You must not break the rules.

Model: a system that is being used and that people might want to copy in order to achieve similar results.

rules01_400Societies operate basically with rules rather than with models. Group games have rules; disobedience means punishment or exclusion. Schools have rules; disobedience means punishment. Families have rules, disobedience means punishment. And so on.

And now you say: So, what? We all know about this.

Well, let’s see something different.

Imagine that you can fly above your city and you see two drivers in their cars ready to go. Before the key goes in the ignition, the first one says: I’ll better put my seat belt on. It’s safer to drive this way. The second one says: I’ll better put my seat belt on. There are cops all around.

Okay. So, both drivers put their seat belts on. That’s the point. What matters if the one cares more about his safety and the other one not to receive a ticket? They both put their seat belts on, case closed.

Hold on. Wait until the two cars leave the city. Now they’re heading toward some village in the middle of nowhere. There are no other cars, no people, not even animals, and of course no cops. What happens now?

Yes, exactly. The first one still has his seat belt on. The second one takes it off.

The one follows a model, the other obeys the rule.

For the first driver, putting the seat belt on is not an obligation, it is not compromise, it is not obedience, it’s not an action arouse from the fear of punishment. It's a natural driving process: I'm driving; I need to put my seat belt on. I’m riding; I need to wear my helmet. A driver like him will never drive while drunk, will respect the signs, traffic lights, people, bicycles. For this type of driver, proper driving behavior does not arise from the fear of punishment but from understanding the needs of well behaving.

On the contrary, the latter put his seat belt on not because he understands the reasons for its necessity, not because he is interested in reaching his destination in safety and without problems, but for not to be punished. So when he knows that there is no one around to punish him, he will stop following the rules. This type of driver will probably run like a crazy on an empty road, drink and drive, ignore a sign or traffic light, won’t respect bicycles, school kids etc.

So, to look again at the key difference:

Rule: an accepted principle or instruction that states the way things are or should be done, and tells you what you are allowed or are not allowed to do.
You must follow/obey the rules.
You must not break the rules.

Rules need something on the opposite side, which would mean that if you do not do what I say, there will also be a punishment: a ticket or imprisonment, exclusion (if you play a group game), loss (you will not watch TV, or go to your friend’s birthday party), hell (if you don’t believe enough).

Rules are based on the fear of punishment.

Rules are effective, but they are short-sighted as well. They trigger only obedience of very specific instructions and do not inspire, cause no emotion beyond fear.

While on the other hand,

Model: a system that is being used and that people might want to copy in order to achieve similar results.

A model is an example of imitation. It inspires you to do something more, something better. It applies everywhere and in everything. You play well in the game because what matters is enjoying the game, not being afraid that they won’t let you play. You respect your school because it’s your second home, not because you are afraid that the teacher will make you stand at the corner for the rest of the day. You respect the “no” from your parents because they are your parents and you trust them, not because they will punish you if don’t listen to them. You don’t throw trash around the streets because you like a clean, beautiful neighborhood, not because someone might call the police.

Apparently, the results are the same whether we obey the rule or follow the model. But if you see beyond the results, you will see that we are talking about a totally different way of thinking. The fundamental difference between a rule and a model is he reasons and motives. (Fear or desire)

Wouldn’t it be better if we followed models instead of obeying the rules?

If doing the “right” thing - whatever that might be, was a result of an inner need for well being and not out of fear for punishment?


  
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