TED Conversations

Kaleb Roberts

This conversation is closed.

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.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Jan 20 2013: Racial segregation was a system derived from the
    efforts of white Americans to keep African
    Americans in a subordinate status by denying
    them equal access to public facilities and
    ensuring that blacks lived apart from whites.
    During the era of slavery, most African Americans resided in the South, mainly in rural areas. Under these circumstances, segregation did not prove
    necessary as the boundaries between free citizens
    and people held in bondage remained clear.
    Furthermore, blacks and whites lived in close proximity on farms and plantations and geographical isolation made contact between neighbors infrequent. However, free people of color, located chiefly in cities and towns of the
    North and Upper South, experienced segregation in various forms. By the time the Supreme Court
    ruled in Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857) that African
    Americans were not U.S. citizens, northern whites
    had excluded blacks from seats on public
    transportation and barred their entry, except as
    servants, from most hotels and restaurants. When allowed into auditoriums and theaters, blacks
    occupied separate sections; they also attended
    segregated schools. Most churches, too, were
    segregated. Reconstruction after the Civil War posed serious
    challenges to white supremacy and segregation,
    especially in the South where most African
    Americans continued to live. The abolition of
    slavery in 1865, followed by ratification of the
    Fourteenth Amendment (1868) extending citizenship and equal protection of the law to
    African Americans and the Fifteenth Amendment (1870) barring racial discrimination in voting,
    threatened to overturn the barriers whites had
    erected to keep blacks separate and unequal. Yet
    the possibilities of blacks sharing public conveyances and public accommodations with whites increased during the period after 1865.
    Blacks obtained access to streetcars and railroads
    on an integrated basis. Indeed, many
    transportation companies favored integration
    because they did not want to risk losing black

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.