Why is it okay to bend the rules?

Or is it really, okay? Where does the buck stop? BY PREETHI MALCOLM.

Reading Time: 2 minutes


Like many other times during the pandemic, I recently found myself wondering about human nature and the strange, rebellious streak of rule breakers. I looked inward at our community and noticed that we only tend to do the right things out of fear of being caught by the law, especially when the hard-earned plastic notes that we so lovingly and carefully save for our future generations are taken away in the name of “penalties.”

I remember reading somewhere that integrity meant doing the right thing even when no one was watching, and that struck a chord with me. But who decides what’s right and what’s wrong? When it comes to the pandemic, it’s not about playing the role of “moral police”. I feel people should instead apply some mindfulness and another factor that is becoming such a rarity these days: common sense.

Walking out of the cinemas after watching the film ’83, I listened to this nearby family of uncles and grandparents tell their kids all about cricket and passion, but never heard a mention of picking up the empty Coke bottles or popcorn packets that they left on the seats. It was heart breaking. Is it because there is no penalty for such actions or just the lack of mindfulness?

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littered cinema floor mindfulness
Source: Canva

Similarly, a father encouraging his teenager with a learner’s license to exceed the speed limit because there were no speed cameras, or parents tweaking their kids’ driving hours in the race to get a P-Plate before their friends’ children… what are we really teaching here?

Even faking declarations at Customs to bring in some spices may sound trivial but take a moment to consider the long-term repercussions and the lessons we are giving the next generation – that it is ok to lie.

In my mind, it’s like telling friends you’re on a diet but eating junk food when no one is watching. Who are we really fooling here?

Covid or Covid free, it’s probably time to make mindfulness a part of our daily life.

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