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Kaleb Roberts

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Why do people find the need to entrench themselves in rules and policies?

For me, whenever anyone (especially those in authority) say "Kaleb don't do that!" I feel the instant desire to do it. Although desire probably isn't an accurate synonym. It's more like I have to do it or I'll explode. I've been this way for as long as I can remember.

Now that I have entered the workforce, I find there are so many rules and regulations. Granted, some of these have real merit (such as the recycling policies, and earwig steel cap boots when you enter the workshop)

However, there are some rules that are just plain idiotic. What are some examples of this behavior, why do people do it? Is it because (This is my assumption) they are afraid of the unknown? They are afraid of taking risk? Or is something that happens during the "nurturing" phase of life with overprotective parents. Maybe it's even a genetic thing.


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  • Dec 23 2012: A basic human need is to belong. Rules help people know the right ways in which to behave so as to belong. I think it's fair to say that most people will tend to follow the rules as culturally speaking that is the way in which they have been taught or have learnt to behave over time. Some personalities however, have evolved differently; they prefer to challenge and question the status quo and growing up in a country like Australia there is sufficient credibility given to this behaviour to encourage it; but only to an extent. I think it's fair to say that you and I would have been alike in this regard until I moved from Australia a number of years ago and lived in a country where questioning the rules was simply NOT done. It took me many years to become accustomed to not questioning and simply following the rules as at the end of the day it was in my best interests to do so. I no longer live in that country as a result; the rules had to be followed and to not follow them created such a difficult situation that it would only be detrimental to myself; often hugely so. So I learned to follow the rules even though I recognised that they were simply idiotic. I learned to take a queue number at the bank to be served even when I was the only one there as without it I would not be served; a simple but real example. Unless the population wants change, change is not likely to happen.
    I now live in a country where rules are treated differently. I come back to rules being necessary to help people know the way in which to appropriately behave so that they can feel that true sense of belonging within that community. Some need this more than others.
    Questioning rules is neither right nor wrong ... it can be about change or stamping one's signature. I see that what I learnt from living in this different country hasn't made me less of a strong willed person; simply a more accepting one. Some things are worth changing ... direct your energy into making a difference there.

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