Following the rules helps minimize mistakes

Lasha Morningstar

WE ARE ONE

July 11, 2016

Mistakes are horrid. They happen usually when one is rushed, careless or does not follow the rules.

These can range from violating rules of the road to society's rules, to family rules, to religious rules, to workplace rules and even rules about rules.

Discipline slips. Or, one does not follow the system they have made for themselves. A mistake is made. When that happens one feels such shame, remorse. Apologies fly to the point of anguish. You vow to never break a certain rule again.

Life's lessons can hit like a bombshell. Everything changes in an instant. A sneeze when you are driving and a parked car's bumper is dinged. Not keeping track or following specific orders can lead to calamity.

Most in our society are guided by the Golden Rule, the Ten Commandments. When one does not follow the spiritual and social guidelines, they pay and those around them pay too. The same with one's work ethic. Make a mistake and cringe when a blooper happens. Shame fills your being.

There are reasons for rules.

Perhaps the most graphic for me personally are the rules of proper nutrition. Yes, food prices have gone through the supermarket roof. But skip the fruits and vegetables, and you rob your internal organs of nutrients essential for their functioning.

Even something as simple as drinking a certain amount of water each and every day is vital for our precious body and mind to work. When I began monitoring my fluid intake I was surprised to see how little water - even counting coffee and tea - I drank on an average day.

The way I counteract this deficit now is to line up juice boxes and filled water bottles every day. Admittedly, I am sometimes forced to quaff two or three juice boxes in the last hour of the workday.

As I do that, I wonder how the homeless function. How do they get the liquid their bodies need?

Look deeper into society, and one finds that rules may become more and more plentiful as one ages. Pushed to the extreme, they are too intrusive, smothering one's uniqueness to the point they do not allow one to function at their peak potential.

SMOTHERING RULES

Therein lies the rub. At what point do rules smother?

Moving this little lever next to your steering wheel can let people know if you are about to turn your vehicle.

Moving this little lever next to your steering wheel can let people know if you are about to turn your vehicle.

Religions are one of media's major targets when they scrutinize the faith groups' dogma. Muslim. Christian. The secular press sometimes has a field day when tearing apart these groups' faith tenets.

I find the Ten Commandments slipping into my thought path at surprising times. If I don't squander the nudge, I will discover whatever dilemma I am wrestling with can often be answered by looking at one, sometimes two, of the commandments.

On interpersonal relations, the Golden Rule can usually chase away nasty emotions such as thoughts of revenge.

Rules of the road prevent carnage. I find it surprising so many do not know that little lever attached to the steering column is used for showing others that you are about to make a turn or that road signs indicating the speed limit are telling drivers a rule, not just offering a suggestion.

Perhaps the most powerful rules are the ones we live our lives by individually. These are not the ones the Ten Commandments and Golden Rule take care of with swift response.

RULES BRING HARMONY

These rules let us sleep at night, they let us know we are in harmony with our own unique selves.

Perhaps some regard others' beliefs or actions as idiosyncrasies. So be it. It's these delicious quirks that make us who we are.

One of mine is the inability to pass by someone who asks for spare change. When I lived back east I would put a certain amount of money in my side pocket each payday.

I gave away that change until the money ran out. My regulars (people I shared coins with) knew the routine and never begrudged my telling them I was all tapped out until payday.

Mistakes. Horrid. But the wise ones learn from them.

(Lasha Morningstar lasha@wcr.ab.ca)