Monday, June 13, 2011

Being Better - The Problem with Rules

What a relief. Last week saw the end of school here at our house. The rush to finish up work, especially for my oldest who was diagnosed only a few weeks prior with Asperger's Syndrome and dysgraphia, included copious amounts of fist pounding anguish as we tried to plow though enough assignments to pass. Needless to say that factored heavily into my creativity nodule being shocked into paralysis. At least I did manage some small amount of off-line story work, but I digress.

One of my favorite things that I have learned from my Aspie son is a healthy distain for how things are 'supposed' to be. As a creative sort myself I was already predisposed to fight the tide, but the task of
guiding him successfully through an often bewildering world rules, laws, structures and assumptions puts the subject in a whole new light.

So when I found the following TED talk on how wisdom and ethical judgement is stifled by rules, and subverted by incentives, well, I was pretty darn excited. I have long thought that the law was a bludgeon, and a poor tool to solve problems. What I hadn't considered was the possibility that by saying, 'There aught to be a law!" and then making it so, we encouraging ourselves to be lazy in our own thoughts. Do we fail to analyze situations because a rule has already prescribed the 'proper' response? I believe that each of us is capable of making a difference and doing great things, but if we are not paying attention we may fail to even recognize the opportunity to do so. Who's ready to take back their power to decide what is right and what is wrong? I know I am.

Thanks to Andrew Schmidt for sharing his photos, and making the sign image above possible.

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