To obey or not to obey

Obedience is something we learn from a very young age.  We are taught by our parents, often for good reasons (when crossing streets, staying away from skunks, not touching the hot stove etc), to be obedient and follow rules.  Yet so often we discover that some rules can be changed or bended (what we eat, how and where we work, what work is, our lifestyles etc.).  So do we obey or do we bend the rules?

What benefits are there to obeying rules?  Rules give us guidelines, a plan if you will.  They help us stay on task, and help us set up boundaries and guidelines for our interactions with people.  A benefit of being obedient while driving is that you stay alive and others do too.  Obeying your stomach when it tells you you’re hungry or thirsty is important too.  Obeying the rules of gravity help us stay safe, or at least reminds us to bring a parachute for a safe landing.

One key part of obedience is respect.  This is key with social interactions.  It is respectful to not talk when someone else is talking because we’re not only being rude to them but we could be missing out on key information they are sharing.  This disrespect also can hurt our relationship with this person.  It also means respecting the boundaries someone has set up around themselves (keep your hands to yourself).  When you don’t obey what your body is trying to tell you (heart attack, don’t eat that, I feel funny around a certain person), you not only tell your body (how you function day to day) that you don’t care about it, not listening and obeying it could kill you.

So when you’re deciding whether to obey or to test the rules, consider both the benefits of obedience and bending the rules, and whether by not being obedient you will be disrespecting, or hurting, someone else or yourself.

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