Thursday, June 18, 2009

Faithfully Breaking Rules

Spending a week on a 15k person island (Martha's Vineyard) with family has made me think about breaking the rules in more ways than one. Reading the local paper this morning reminded me of how important it can be to break the rules. One of the bakeries in Oak Bluffs opens their back alley door at 10:30pm every night to sell doughnuts as they're coming off the line; all night until 7am. I'm sure they're breaking numerous zoning and health code rules in the process, but needless to say with a population of this size, everyone loves it, and no-one cares; no harm no foul.

The "family" aspect of this vacation has me bending/breaking, and enforcing, numerous parenting rules as well. Ice cream everyday? No problem. Licorice before breakfast? Sure.

Reading about President Obama's Finance industry reworking got me thinking about "bigger" rules that affect our everyday lives, indirectly and directly. That turned me to one of my favorite, and brutally simple, rules that we, internationally and cross-culturally, effectively never break: "stay on your side of the road when driving."

Think about it. Everyday millions of people drive two-thousand pound chunks of metal at high-speeds in opposite directions, with nothing more than a couple of feet between them as they pass eachother. There is some base rule that taps into our mortality that truly prevents us from breaking this rule. We have faith that complete strangers will adhere to the rule as well. We hand our lives over to other drivers everyday. I always like coming back to that one as it's an interesting exercise regarding faith in others.

Photo by: William C. Beall of Washington Daily News

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