Rewriting the rule-book?

We so easily slip into a dangerous state of mind – the feeling that we are somehow not living up to scratch. Whether through the scrutinising eyes of the public, the opinions of our friends or the diktats of our employers, we can become obsessed with getting everything ‘right’.

But who wrote the guidelines, here? Who set these rules which, from dawn till dusk till dawn again, we contort ourselves to fit around? Society, of course. And society is made of nothing but people like you and me. So, who’s to say we can’t ignore the rules?

Of course we can’t – not really. Or at least, if we choose to ignore them, we need to find an equally viable means of keeping ourselves in check, keeping from falling apart as a civilisation. Instantly, alarm bells rattle our minds; thoughts like ‘I can’t forget what my boss will think if I don’t do this work perfectly’, or, ‘If I don’t care about not getting the job, what will my friends think of me?’ whizz through our heads. We need the rules, otherwise we can’t be trusted not to fail.

But, to follow this automatic fear, we’re forgetting that we ourselves can be perfectly reliable rule-makers. Why should we not trust our own standards? Of course, there would be no way of maintaining a status quo. But do we have one anyway? Do not millions of people do great, terrible and downright unimportant things according to their own precepts every day? If you’re the sort of person who has these fears, perhaps you’re also the sort of person least likely to abuse your own standards.

This probably makes no sense, it’s only my ramblings. But a very hopeful thought has come with this ramble. I’m sure we can trust ourselves to say the right thing, do the right thing, be the right person. We don’t need our actions to be cross-referenced according to a thousand other people’s policies.

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