Ice cream for breakfast.

Today, I woke up & wanted ice cream. So, I ate ice cream. OK, it was actually Arctic Zero — a lactose free, fat free, GMO free, gluten free, low glycemic, creamy fit frozen dessert — but it came in a pint & I ate the whole thing (as is recommended) & I should probably get to the point anyway.

Now, maybe it was the large 150 calories per pint on the packaging. Or maybe it’s because I’m unemployed & still in the “fuck it” mentality. But the point, I think, can be best summarized by Arya Stark in last night’s episode of Game of Thrones (no worries, no spoilers here):

“I knew what I was doing was against the rules, but … I knew it wasn’t wrong. The rules were wrong. I was doing what I was meant to be doing.”

I’m by no means here to tell spew “rules are meant to be broken” jargon at you but I am here to tell you to question them.

A flow chart would be nice here, but think about things like:

  • Do you fundamentally agree with the rule (or norm or standard)?
  • Who made the rule in the first place? Someone you trust & admire? Someone with proper authority? Someone with good intentions?
  • How long ago was the rule made? Has the rule been appended / modified since then?
  • Will breaking the rule cause harm to you or someone you love?
  • Will following (or I guess, not breaking) the rule cause harm to you or someone you love?
  • Broadly, is breaking the rule worth the potential repercussions of doing so?

For the most part, rules are worth following. They exist to create order in society & to keep us safe. But not all rules are just or fair or current.

We all have a responsibility to question rules (& norms), & to challenge them — in all facets of our lives. We owe this to ourselves. We owe this to the people we love, & to people we’ll never meet. We owe this to people like us & unlike us, alike.

Rules are not necessarily sacred, principles are.
— Franklin D. Roosevelt
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