"Rules are there for a purpose of keeping some semblance of civil order and personal discipline and their general observance will reflect an orderly society. Some rules and rigid observance are meant to be broken from time to time if positive advancement of person or cause is to be made, and undoubtedly the issue becomes which ones and who chooses?
Allow me to give you a few philosophical ones that can make a tremendous difference to one's life and overall sense of happiness. I always remember being told by a San Francisco hippy in the mid 60's never to confine oneself in the prism of the time trap. The subject of 'time' fascinated me and instantly grabbed my interest as 'time' is the very stuff that life is made up of! 'If you don't have a timetable, you cannot be late, and if you don't have a destination, you can never be lost,' my hippy contact told me as he placed a flower of peace in my hand.
I remember as a serving Probation Officer meeting another colleague who always took off her watch at the start of every interview as she strongly believed that each conversation had its own natural time span and should be constructed without the constraints of the clock. She was so right and I have rarely worn a watch since. Also, so many of us find it extremely difficult to listen to others for more than a minute without thinking they are 'going on and on' and getting the urge to butt in and have our say.
I also had a Buddhist friend in Canada who told me that the two hardest things in the world to divest oneself of was 'wealth' and 'pride.' He used to say, 'Bill, until you can divest yourself of all concern of personal wealth, you will never find the pathway to human richness.' I could identify his belief with the parable in the bible informing the followers of Christ that it was more difficult for a rich man to enter heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, but I had a little more difficulty coming to grasp the significance of the pride issue until I had a few more years on my shoulders.
I have always suffered the sin of pride and even today, I find that I have to actively and vigorously work against my pride to stay within the bounds of acceptable normality. It is probably the one sin that I have always had to include in my list of faults since childhood. I have always tried to separate the two things of vanity and pride which are often viewed synonymously. It is possible for a person to be proud without being vain as pride relates more to the opinion we have of ourselves whereas vanity relates to what we want others to think of us.
Two of my favourite sentiments on pride come from the 18th/19th century English writer, social commentator and philosopher, William Hazlitt, who espoused the view that pride erects a little kingdom of its own, and acts sovereign in it, and the writer T.S. Eliot who wrote about the assassination of Archbishop Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170 in his play, 'Murder in the Cathedral.'
Thomas Becket was made a saint three years after his death. Some think that by foretelling publicly of his murder, he was, in fact, inciting martyrdom; somewhat like Martin Luther King, the civil rights leader who spoke about his own assassination before it happened. Becket himself felt himself to be too full of self-pride. My favorite words of Eliot are, 'The greatest treason is to do the right deed for the wrong reason.' It made me ask about the altruism and distinction of doing good (to be rewarded by being thought well of and someday going to heaven), or actually being a good person and doing the right thing because of no other reason than it is the right thing to do!
My dear mother used to tell me, 'Billy, don't let lack of pride pull you down or too much pride lead to your downfall.' She was so right as the secret is in the balance and its display." William Forde: April 5th, 2017.