We are brought up to believe that conforming to the rules is good and that breaking them is bad. This is drilled into us at a very early age and we are used to being rewarded or punished accordingly. In many ways this is a good thing. There are certain rules that should always be followed, such as treating others as we would like to be treated ourselves, protecting life and learning that to receive we must first give.
The trouble with many other ‘man-made’ rules is that they can halt progress. They are made by men and women at a specific moment in history and therefore have a use by date. Breakthroughs occur when rules are challenged and ultimately broken. At the time, these can seem heretical. Galileo faced the inquisition when he suggested that the earth moved around the sun and not the other way around and relatives of the Wright brothers said that they would ‘burn in hell’ when they believed that they could fly.
We should always encourage the next generation to follow the moral rules that govern life. However, we should also actively encourage them to challenge and question ‘man-made’ rules through the power of their imagination.
As Monty Python declared “No-one expects the Spanish Inquisition!” So to avoid being one of them, we need to keep our minds as wide open as we can.