“She sleeps too late.” “He snores and he shouldn’t” “That work must be finished on time!” “You must keep your promises.” Okay, whatever...
Who makes the rules? We all tend to make rules based on our own experience, personalities and views. The way we see our world colours how we regulate our world. And a regulated world—where rules hold sway—is not much fun for anybody.
What if there were no rules?
What if there were no encumbrances on us and we were free to decide? A lot depends on our morality; faced with freedom, there are a million different choices.
Sometimes rules are necessary, but they must be achievable in good conscience.
There are good reasons for many rules of life—rules and laws to protect us in a civilised society. But these aren’t the rules that are in scope for this article.
No, we want to establish who sets the rules for life beyond the law.
Who tells us what to do?
This is the life, that, as adults, we have much discretion over. It’s about how we choose to live. It’s about working out, by responsible means, what we will accept and what we won’t. It’s also about working out the vast flexibility between what is acceptable and what isn’t.
What Rules Have We Placed Ourselves Under?
Sometimes as we look back we discover the rods we have made for ourselves in accepting certain rules—a level of living governance brought over the top of us. This, in many respects, could be from our partner or the boss or from an adult child or a friend.
Determining what we have chosen to accept in the past is important for determining what we can expect to accept in the future. Life works best when we maintain the momentum. If we decide we must change it takes much more effort to do so.
If we find ourselves having bowed to certain rules we can no longer live with, breaking past the inertia of continued acceptance is our biggest challenge. But we can change if we see the need.
And at a level we must. If we are cowered down by certain rules that we have a choice over, by continuing to accept what we believe is wrong is bad for us. There comes a time for courage, to do the thinking around what we will accept and what we won’t, so far as rules are concerned.
Life Is Freer Than We Think
When we think of who actually makes the rules, beyond the laws of the land, we can safely establish it is God. Most other ‘rules’ come from our beliefs.
When we break past our beliefs—which were informed by our highly selective experience—which is no basis for determining rules others should live by—we find there is a freedom we can offer all in our midst. In that, we too gain freedom.
We are freed to love.
Breaking past our beliefs, those things set down in the families we were brought up in, is the best way of debunking the falsity regarding how others should live their lives.
Life is freer than we think, if we can get past the rule-making and the rule-abiding.
When people impose rules on others, especially where the other has no choice, freedom is vanquished and tyranny is released. In relationships, there are few rules beyond love. And any rules made should be agreed.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.