Disobedience Has Consequences (A-Z Blogging Challenge)


It seems like a common sense idea, but maybe it's not.  At some point during college, I began to own the fact that disobedience has consequences.

Specifically, if you know there is a rule against something and you know the consequence for breaking the rule, can you legitimately be angry when those consequences are carried out?

At my college, there were plenty of rules, related to the function of campus, such as curfew, or related to morality.  Compared to some schools, it may be considered very strict, but compared to others, it is fairly lenient.

But when you decide to become a student, those rules are presented to you, either during the application process or in the first few weeks of school.  The rules and the consequences for those rules are carefully outlined, so no one could say they don't know.

But I remember on more than one occasion when a student would break a rule that resulted in the student being forced to leave school.  And inevitably, someone was mad about it.

Maybe I would see it differently if I were the one having to leave school, but it seems to me that when you choose to live under a certain set of rules and the consequences that go with them, how could you be angry when those rules and consequences are carried out?  If you don't like the rules, it's not hard to choose to attend a different school.  Or obey the rules anyway.  I didn't always like the dorm curfew, but I obeyed those rules because I made the choice to live in the dorms.

And of course, this lesson goes beyond the college campus.  Everyone who drives is aware that every street has a speed limit.  If you choose to drive above the speed limit, whether it's one mile over or ten miles over, if you find yourself with a speeding ticket, it's not the fault of the police.


What are your thoughts on rules and consequences?  What responsibility do you think we have when we disagree with the rules?  What kind of experiences have you had that taught you about rules and consequences?

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33 Responses to Disobedience Has Consequences (A-Z Blogging Challenge)

  1. My dad had a saying - you can do anything you want... until you get caught.

    As a child that gives you free reign to explore and be naughty, but as someone who is consciously aware, you would think, that they might consider the what if's

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  2. "I know my rights" I hear kids yell at me and I look at them calmly and say "Yes but do you know your responsibilities?". It usually leaks the wind out of their sails. It would be lovely if we could all 'live and let live' without a huge tangle of rules and regulations but people being what we are need those guide ropes to navigate the tricky world we live in.

    That being said I think it is vital for rules to be clear and up front so everyone knows what they can do and the boundaries that make it easy for everyone to live as harmoniously as humans can. :) It is lovely to read that you are at a point in your life where you are becoming aware of that.

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  3. following rules can be important, but sometimes a rule is just wrong - do we have a responsibility to follow it blindly or to do something about it?

    Visiting from A-Z Challenge

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  4. I was rarely disobedient... but to many this understanding comes hard way.

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  5. I'm not great on rules and if I can find a way of circumventing them then I will, if I think its too hard written. However, I also agree that you must accept the consequences! :) Happy A-Z ing

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  6. We learn with time to obey voluntarily but do require rules in the beginning despite dreams in our eyes that are very probably true.

    I blog: http://mechameli.blogspot.in/2014/04/does-it-matter-to-indian-women-to.html

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  7. Karen Hamilton SilvestriApril 4, 2014 at 7:39 AM

    As a college professor, I see this all the time! The best advice I ever received was from a high school vice-principal. She said, "Just jump through the hoops." There are times we need to question the rules, but there are even more times when we have to decide if this is a fight worth fighting or should we just "jump through the hoops" and move on. I tell my students, "Just jump through the hoops." Follow the rules, get your degree, and then go fight your battles.

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  8. Rebecca Weidner OnkarApril 4, 2014 at 8:33 AM

    I agree with you. I was just thinking the other day that people like rules that are already in line with what they desire, but not those that go against what they want.

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  9. This post made me laugh, because I was thinking about this earlier this week. I think rules are in place for a reason. Granted, some are silly, but I think most rules have a point.

    I live with a cop and hear stories of people breaking rules all the time and it never stops to amaze me that (1) they cry when they get caught and (2) they blame everyone except themselves for the mistakes they make.


    So I've decided that I won't expect others to be accountable for their choices; but I will always be accountable to myself for my own errors.

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  10. I've always been a rule-follower and never questioned rules. But as an adult, I've changed my perspective. Sometimes you do what you need to and take the consequences. And as a parent, it's important to have consequences for actions, but to know that you can't force kids to do anything. You just have to enforce the consequences. If that makes sense.

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  11. Visiting from A to Z Challenge:

    When rules cause harm or require one to violate his conscience, then they ought not be followed.

    For example, as a child, the rule was that we could have one apple as a snack before dinner. I am allergic to apples but the people I lived with refused to believe apples made me ill. So, I ate dry dog food or sneaked cookies and cheese if the cupboards were left unlocked.

    It took conscious a great deal of effort to learn which rules I ought to follow and which rules I ought not. My rule of thumb is to be cautious about anything capricious such as "policy" that gives no thought to actual human need and anything that tries to force me to violate myself or another person. But God's rules as well as rules that exist to protect me and others or to promote genuine community must be followed or I ought to leave.

    I'm happy to have found your blog. You ask provocative questions.

    http://lovedasif.com/

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  12. Amen. Isn't sad how long it takes us to learn this lesson...and for some people even longer? Consequences, accountability and responsibility.

    www.merriehansen.com

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  13. Silvia VillalobosApril 4, 2014 at 1:41 PM

    I agree, every action should have consequences either good or bad. And a world/or society without rules would be chaos. Imagine if we all wanted to make a left turn in the middle of an intersection at the same time? Would not go too well. Maybe some rules are absurd, but they probably came into existence due the bad actions of a few at the detriment of many. Enjoyed reading your post.
    Silvia @
    SilviaWrites

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  14. Some rules are meant to be broken, well maybe reviewed for amendment. But you just need to be responsible enough to face the consequences.

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  15. I agree. I'm not necessarily against breaking rules if they need broken, but I have to be willing to pay the consequences. Is the act of disobedience worth the consequences if I get caught?

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  16. I think you pointed out something I've neglected: whether there is a rule against an action or not, there are consequences for every action we take.

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  17. Exactly. When grown people don't take responsibility for themselves, we have a problem. Is it worse than it used to be? Or are we fooled by our current eyes?

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  18. I'm so glad you like it! Break rules but break them on purpose. :-). Break them because they need breaking. But know what the consequences are and be sure it's worth it. Sometimes it is!

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  19. That makes sense! Kids need consequences in the home because real life has consequences.

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  20. I agree - rules are there for a reason. Even if you don't like the reason or think it's silly. :-) My husband is a counselor and tells me that people do what they do because it works for them. Rules are the same: it made sense for the person that made it.

    I suppose that even if you think people should be accountable, it doesn't mean they will be. So why should you expect it?

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  21. Absolutely! Rules are great, so long as they don't keep me from doing what I want to do!!

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  22. You're exactly right! If this, whatever it is, is what you want to accomplish, you have to go through the steps. Make a choice and quit complaining about it! :-)

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  23. Right, some rules are there for a reason when we are young. Don't spoil your dinner with sweets! When we're grown, we understand why, but every once in a while we have a big bowl of ice cream instead of grilled chicken.

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  24. That's my whole point. If you choose to break the rules, don't get mad when you have to pay the consequences. :)

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  25. I'm mostly a rule keeper, but I've seen enough rule-breakers to learn some lessons from their actions. LOL.

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  26. My point isn't so much that we should be following every rule, but accepting the consequences when we choose to break a rule. If you know the rule and know the consequences, why do you get angry when you have to deal with those consequences?

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  27. I agree; our rights and our responsibilities go together. We can do what what we want, but as members of communities we have responsibilities to take care of the people around us.

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  28. I realized something like that in high school. I can do anything I feel like. But do I want to? And do I want the consequences that come from it? And then in college I realized how many people are willing to break the rules but not to pay the consequences. :)

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  29. I experience so much quilt when I realize I've broken a rule. I have been like this since I was a child. As an adult I have no tolerance for those who simply disregard rules, it seems so wrong...

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  30. It is good to follow the rules. Most of them are there for a reason. And you don't have to suffer the consequences that come with breaking them. :)

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  31. I would say it began in "the Garden."

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  32. When I was a teen, used to teach the kids in my junior church class that consequences had actions. I know that’s backwards, but that was how I taught them about taking responsibility for the choices they made. I first had to teach them about choices, then about actions, and then about consequences. I was teaching myself repeatedly things I felt I already knew too - every year. There’s always something new to learn about how our choices affect us. Disobedience and obedience have consequences. We have to count up the cost and determine our choices before we take actions instead of after or in midstream.

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  33. I can definitely see how turning it around that way would work well. What a great idea!

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