Following the Rules–Or not?

I am one of those boring folks who nearly always follow the rules. This is true despite having been stopped twice by troopers on Route 481 between Oswego and Fulton. ( I didn’t get a speeding ticket either time, but I don’t speed on that road any more.) I (generally) don’t talk on my phone while driving. I stop at stop signs and stoplights even in the middle of the night when no one is watching. I pay my taxes on time. I don’t get late fees for overdue library books. I vote in every election (well, not school board elections because I think they’re useless). If the instructions say “use No. 2 pencil” or “print in block capitals,” that’s what I do. And so on and so forth, ad nauseum.

So, does following the rules make me a better person? (Probably not.) Do I have a better and richer life? (I doubt it.) Would it be more fun to break the rules? (Maybe. I don’t know.) I suppose I might be one of those rationally self-interested people who are actually deterred by the threatened punishment for breaking the rules. Or maybe I have too much to lose by by breaking the rules. Or maybe I am too lazy or non-creative or unspontaneous to be a rule breaker. Of course, if the instructions say “think beyond the box,” I dutifully attempt to do it.

You know, maybe the problem is that I don’t have enough opportunity to break the rules. Maybe that’s it. I don’t know. What do you think?

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