ight in laying down laws, yet you delight more in breaking them, like children playing by the ocean who build sand castles with constancy and then destroy them with laughter.
While you build your sand castles, the ocean brings ever more sand to the shore, and when you destroy them, the ocean laughs with you.
Kahlil Gibran, from The Prophet
Is human nature evil?
You can make a pretty good argument either way.
Are human beings naughty by nature? (Hip hop hoorayyyyy hoooooo…..)
We are insatiably curious. We explore. We challenge. We want to learn. I see my niece, at 14 months old, identifying where boundaries she’s not supposed to pass have been established and then mischievously going about getting over, around, or through them.
Boundaries show where opportunities for certain adventure begin.
Comfort zones are best understood so as to then step beyond and extend them.
(Some) rules truly are made to be broken. Or at least challenged.
When a reporter asked a mountaineer named George Mallory why he was so determined to reach Mt. Everest’s summit, he responded,
Because it’s there.
That’s so classically, dickishly British.
But more importantly, it drills straight to the heart not only of his motivation for climbing Everest (he’d eventually die trying), but also speaks to why we do almost anything that’s worth the doing.
We do things that matter not necessarily because of what’s out there but because something inside us compels us forward.
We’ve got plenty of written rules out there. Some of them are worth (or require) breaking. Most provide some help in our attempt to live with one another without destroying ourselves.
But what about unwritten rules, the ones that shape our lives but are never actually presented to us for objective examination?
Do you know what the unwritten rules shaping your life are?
If you don’t, there’s value in finding out.
Look for points of stress in your life.
Chances are that there’s a rule underlying it, one that you might be better off giving the sand castle treatment.