The rules said that the world was flat. The rules clearly stated that blacks sat at the back of the bus. The rules said that light only came from lanterns or candles that used combustible fuel. Some of the most fundamental changes in the world came because certain people didn’t listen to or follow the rules.
For reasons that I still do not understand I grew up thinking rules were made to be broken or at least challenged. This wasn’t the same as being an anarchist when it came to authority. Yet others often saw that flagrant violations of traditions and hard rules as a threat to their power over others.
As rule-breakers find themselves in the newspaper, usually in the gossip related sections, I find that there are several types of rule-breakers. First are those out to destroy for their own glory. Recent examples can be found in British politics where trust has been tossed on the fire of self promotion. The second comes with those who are indulging fantasies and dreams in ways society does not condone. Publicity is usually the last thing these celebrities need as we muse over pictures of them going into or coming out of the legal system. The third example is those looking to find new vistas in which to explore, live, and create. Pushing the limits of science, finding new ways to reach people, and achieving the impossible all fall under this umbrella.
When someone pushes the edge I wonder why. The question usually comes down to motive. John records the story of a rule-breaker who shattered the norm of the day. “The Samaritan woman, taken aback, asked, “How come you, a Jew, are asking me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?” (Jews in those days wouldn't be caught dead talking to Samaritans.)” (John 4.9) What follows changed the course of many lives and set the stage of a more fundamental change that altered the course of history.
Breaking the rules can be a good thing. The question remains – why? Plugged into the right reasons? Go for it!