The right kind of rule-breaking

Originally appeared on

I played a board game with friends recently where you’re asked “yes” or “no” questions about how you’d react to any number of situations. One of the questions was, “It’s late at night and you’re in your car, stopped at a red light in the middle of nowhere. No cars are around and the light is taking a long time to change. Do you run it?” If you asked me that question a few years ago, my answer might have been, “Sure, no harm in that.”

There was a time in my life when I thought I had it all figured out. I enjoyed a fair amount of success in school and sports. Confidence in my abilities was bolstered, and this attitude led to some disregard of rules. There was never malicious intent; I just didn’t see how certain rules applied to me. For example, my friend and I used to climb abandoned buildings or water towers because it seemed fun and adventurous. It may sound trivial, but in doing these things, I was sneaking out at night, trespassing on private property and generally speaking, hanging out in places I shouldn’t have been.

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