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Take your rules…

Rhona Canoy

SO… After having spent my whole life being a rebel, I finally got around to thinking about the why’s and wherefores of my existence. It’s difficult for me to say how or why I was raised to be the way I am. But I can’t say that I know any other way to be, so survival and existence are founded on questioning and understanding (or at least wondering about) everything that goes on around me, so that I can figure out how to be.

It’s puzzling that we (the politically correct way to refer to the collective) are so docile and subservient to what is laid out before us. We don’t question the rules. We don’t challenge them. We don’t think about how they came to be. We blindly accept that they’re there, without knowing what they’re for. Excitingly for me, I love going against every single rule that comes across, if I couldn’t figure out what they are good for. So this time, we’re going to talk all the rules I don’t understand or like.

The rule about accepted gender roles. My BIGGEST pet peeve. Who in the history of time (and bible writings count) decided what men can do and women can do? And that an uncrossable line separates the two? Women are domestic engineers and goddesses, men are the hunters and gatherers. At least, that’s what the rule kind of says. Yeah, there used to be a time when men were the more logical choice to go out and hunt. But that’s only because the animals were HUGE! And people mistakenly believed that size is might. Actually, it would have made more sense for women to hunt, because we are more vicious. And more clever when it comes to taking something or somebody down. Then send the men out to drag home the bounty once we’re done.

Who decided that women were only good for cooking and cleaning? Well, cooking I guess makes sense because we women do love our food. But cleaning?! There is furniture to be moved and lifted. There are unwieldy lime deposits on our tiles and sinks which need vigorous scrubbing. There are fires which need to be started and stoked. There are unreachable places where dust likes to settle, and (let’s face it) most women are short — or shorter than their men. Perhaps someday, science will find a way for men to be the ones to have children. Then, there will be no more lines left uncrossed. And that’s only the tip of the rule iceberg.

The rule that opinions are final and irrevocable. We all have opinions. That’s a rule that even I will not argue. But who said that opinions are etched in stone and will never change? Opinions, after all, are merely the judgment that we make on a particular issue. And that is formed by what little we know. So, shouldn’t additional knowledge and information have the power to change our opinions, or at least adjust them? Take the issue on the Magalong-Albayalde debate on the police and the drug trade. We only know what these two are expounding upon in the media. We don’t know their personal experiences which form the basis of what they’re saying. We don’t know what they truly know. And we don’t know if their command of language is enough to really explain to us what, in their opinion, is going on. Take everything with a large grain of salt. And that’s only the tip of the rule iceberg.

The rule that we can’t be friends if we don’t agree. Talk about stupidity at its best. Since when is it required for us to agree on everything? To believe the same things? To like and dislike the same things? Otherwise we can’t be friends? I didn’t know that “birds of a feather flock together” was a cardinal rule. At best, I thought it was merely a suggestion… or an opinion at best. Yes, there is safety in being around people who can support our illusions, people who won’t question our shared insanity. It makes what we believe to be true more real. Even then, we only have to agree on the things we don’t agree upon. But even truth is relative. And that’s only the tip of the rule iceberg.

The rule that there are exceptions to the rule. I have nothing against this rule, per se. But I have a problem with who determines what the exceptions are, and to whom they apply. That is so subjective that I can’t even begin to explain why I have a problem with it. What are the conditions under which exceptions apply? Are they permanent? Are they handed out on a case-to-case basis? Do they really have to be exceptions? Can’t these exceptions become the blueprint for changing the rule? And that’s only the tip of the rule iceberg.

We need to develop the skill to see the rules as they are — necessary for us to function as a society. But we also need the skill to know when the rules have to be changed for the better. We need to understand that we may not like the rules, but that they have to serve for the good of all. Not just for the good of a few. And that’s only the tip of the rule iceberg.


About Rhona Canoy

Rhona Canoy
Rhona Canoy is the president and head administrator of International School CDO. Bon vivant, raconteur, epicure, mental voyeur, occasional Yoda. You may address her as "The Intelligent Loquacious Wildly Eccentric Sometimes Inebriated Honest But Sarcastic Essential B*tch."

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