How many times have you been told to not let down your hair at school? Or to not grow a beard at work? How many times have you been told to not do a certain thing or say a certain thing and when you ask “Why not?”, people simply say “Those are the rules!” or “That’s just how things are.”. Rules are fundamental, to say the least; they keep chaos at bay. However, sometimes they are the basis of all mayhem because it creates rebellion. I’m not a rebellious person yet I always wonder about “rules”. Why do we have rules in almost everything in our daily lives? And why do we subconsciously tend to follow them? But most importantly why do we have this unshakable urge to simply break them?
Now, let us begin with why we tend to follow the rules. Since human beings are naturally sociable creatures, we rely on our social interactions to thrive. However, to avoid any disturbance or even chaos, we create social norms or social constructs. Yes, it is that simple. We tend to follow rules merely because we want to thrive or even because we want to avoid trouble.
There is always an antagonist in any story, always an opposing side. Here, the opposing side is simply people who constantly go out of their way to break any rule possible. Just as many people follow the rules and are satisfied with doing so, others feel suffocated while following the rules. The latter people have an itch beneath their skin that is telling them to break the rules. Those people refuse to abide by laws and rules that they are not convinced with. Yet again, why do those people always tend to break the rules?
Socially speaking, people tend to break the rules simply because they do not believe them to be useful. Some view the rules as unfair to them and some break the rules just for the thrill of it. Nothing more, nothing less. It has been proven that rule-breakers feel smarter and more capable along with being in a very good mood after breaking a rule. Another reason they break the rules is freedom. Ironic, I know. But if you think about it, you’ll find it quite fitting. For some people, breaking a rule is freeing. However, breaking a rule should never be harmful and it should not be a lifestyle either.
People simply tend to follow or break rules for reasons all alike. We either follow rules just because they bring us a sense of security and peace, or break them for the sense of being free. Not an ideal way to be free; however, it may be one of the only ways that make their souls feel like flying.
Writer: Habiba Suleiman
Editor: Ahmed Ashry