Like it or Not, We’re a Society of Rule Followers

Yes, that includes you



Image Credit: Sergey Novikov via Shutterstock

Our society revolves around structure and order, even when things seem chaotic. We have clearly defined rules, such as laws and employment guidelines. We also have unwritten rules for social engagements and other interactions.

We honor certain expectations in society, even if we think of ourselves as free spirits or anarchists. You can rant about the government or yell “fuck the system” on TikTok, but odds are high that you’re still keeping the system intact.

Don’t believe me? Think about an average day.

The alarm goes off, and you get out of bed. Or maybe there’s no alarm, but you glance at the clock on your way to the bathroom. The numerals glow on your stove, microwave, and phone, ticking away the minutes.

You’re already playing into the system, and you’ve only been up for a few minutes.

Time is a man-made concept that divides our day into equal parts. Because time exists, we know exactly how long we spend at work or when to arrive at appointments or social gatherings.

Time as we think of it isn’t innate to the natural world; it’s a manmade construct intended to describe, monitor, and control industry and individual production. — Olivia Goldhill, Science Reporter

Monitoring the clock can be annoying, but time serves a purpose. After all, human beings often have an innate desire to organize their surroundings. We could be picking flowers and running through fields barefoot all day, but for many of us, life is nothing like that.

I mean, just sit here and think about it for a minute.

When you drive through a subdivision, which side of the road do you automatically drive on? The right side, of course, unless you’re dodging mail trucks or kids on scooters.

Speaking of subdivisions, do you live in one? Nearly 9 out of 10 people live in an urban or suburban area, so odds are high that you aren’t isolated from your community.




Working through my trauma one story at a time. Thanks for joining me on my journey.