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Breaking Rules

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No matter how obvious it sounds most of the rules have been created long before us. By rules I mean systematized experience of previous generations, like handshakes and etiquette, and things like going for a social smoke. There is a rule that ladies go in first into any door except the elevator.

But rules are a need for the sense of stability around one. Society needs rules to forecast the effect of a cause, to have at least some confidence of the future. And this is what disappoints people. This is when they lose their confidence because things appear not the way they expected them to be. Those who were really dependent on expectations suffer from facing the world that is unpredictable, that the rules they believed in didn’t work at some turning point.

So they say that only fools learn through their own mistakes. Don’t you remember your mom telling you not to stick your tong out and put it against the metallic balcony railing when it’s freezing cold outside? Why did I skip my SPSS class with that macho from senior class? All of my friends were telling me he was a player and had nothing else in his head except for getting laid. Why do we learn things only after we go through them? This is what humans are like.

Even the oldest eternal verities demand a personal check. Some test those rules from time to time while others make breaking-rules their lifestyle, or even take it as the meaning of life. I always was a bright student in school. Teachers respected me for my ability to learn but one thing I always got in trouble with was my attitude. I found some of my classes extremely boring. I preferred to read the syllabus material and write papers instead of listening to the lectures because some of my professors would get on my nerves by being so straight forward and narrow minded. I didn’t want to learn anything from a person whom I totally disrespected.

I was in the cool clique. I and my friends considered ourselves “the free minded” in the format of sex, drugs and party. That was real fun. We considered ourselves better then others, different, extraordinary, cool, and outgoing. It seemed like the world was made for us. It seemed like we owned the secret of eternal happiness.

I’m glad I left the crowd. And I’m glad I packed my bags and moved far away overseas. It turned out my ‘protest’ was very constructive and now I am happy to be where I am. But there will always be that little vixen inside me, because I am Miss Provocateur.

It is not a secret that the rebels have huge charm. The charisma. Nonconformists are usually the ones that become idols and leaders of the “righteous and law-abiding” citizens. The paradox is ridiculously simple: we look for that which we don’t have. It’s like the opposites attract. It is natural to adore rebels for doing what an average mortal being can’t.

People like that make legendary music, and even decades after their death they remain to be idols. Rebels are the ones that got rid of slavery and the ones that created eternal masterpieces. Sure there are the ones that made wars and caused bloodshed and were the ones to blame for the most impudent crime. As much as the reverence, ‘professional’ nonconformist gets the hatred. Sometimes the end is self destruction.

But we divide in two.

Psychologists say that there is a whole spectrum of aspects that get one to belong to the ‘rebels’. Most of them go back to childhood. Choice to follow or to break rules is motivated for a valid reason.
Conformists are the ones that take the world order the way it is and they are perfectly happy, they have no motivation for a change. That’s one kind. The other kind is people with fear and there is nothing they want to change.

Nonconformists also come from those two types except that the first kind has the aspiration to make the world around them better, they improve that what they already have. And the second type, the one with the fear become extremely brave and furious.

I am the first type. Of nonconformist of course.

June 6th, 2008
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