I do apologise if I am being slightly philosophical this evening. I don't know what came over me. And a few shots of whisky do not usually make me so.
I was considering the whole idea of "stepping back" and seeing the big picture. I realise that there are a lot of people that spend a lot of their lives not doing this.
I remember one of my early job interviews - it was actually for Nokia in a Bracknell office, and they had an HR person that was some psychology type person. Very very unnerving at the best of times, but she had an interview question that was clearly designed around the idea of stepping back and seeing the big picture. She asked "You own a business, a toy factory, and get a call saying it has burned down one morning - what do you do?". Now I initially was thinking small, and was "check people not hurt" and that sort of thing. This is a good start, obviously. But think bigger and it is "do I want to be in the toy manufacture business any more?" and using insurance to make a new factory if I do. It was a lot about stepping back and seeing big picture. I suspect it was a question to work out if I was management or a drone.
Now a lot of people do not question life! We learn rules as a child, and even though children ask "why?" a lot, we stop asking way too soon.
We live by the rules - we understand law and police. We follow rules. In some cases people follow religion. But step back and think and you realise that these are all rules made by other people. People with no more real "answers" than you have. People that like to make rules. Then other people follow those rules. These rules are often arbitrary - sometimes based on history and common sense or even science, but not always. Even when they are, they are not always current. I mean, "don't eat pork", was once a really good tried and tested rule that made a lot of sense and saved lives. It is not now. Bacon is good. The rule is out of date.
This is all good for society, obviously. Indeed, religion was crucial to keeping people in line. Now we have laws and government as well, or instead. But they are no more sensible in the way they make rules - it is still people - worse, it is committees of people, who make the rules.
But really - there are no rules. There is no punishment not made and enforced by other people. It makes sense to fit in with the rules, and we all know that, but we do need to understand that they are just a convention - just a useful framework. Sometimes good, and sometimes bad. Sometimes one can change that framework. Sometimes one can step outside it.
So do step back - do think - do realise that your life is not a needle on a record. You could do what you like! You don't have to have the job you have or live in the country you do! Your life is what you make it. Try and fit in as much as you want to, and understand the consequences of not fitting in - but it is your choice.
Above all, don't follow rules just because they are there. This is especially true if they are old rules (which is true for religious rules). Think for yourself, and question the status quo as much as you dare. Be the future. Be yourself.