What Rules Should We Be Breaking?

By Team Elektra

By Jessica Higginbotham

Breaking rules is an ethical conundrum. Each person must decide for themselves if they are willing to go against the status quo and own the repercussions of their actions. No one rule should go without scrutiny, and some rules, while perceived as good, create limitations for progress. Some of the most profound figures in history broke the rules to bring about real change, but they had to fight in order to reach their goals. The Sons of Liberty, who dumped tea into the Boston Harbor, Rosa Parks, who refused to give up her seat, and so many others have impacted the world by breaking rules.

These days, we can still break rules, just not as many. Perhaps one of the only rules we might consider breaking is the use of professionalism in the workplace. To break a rule, you must believe it is unjust, inaccurate, or against the benefit of those it affects such as using formality to divide office employees. You must recognize the change that you want to make. In this example, it is to improve employee relations by bringing everyone to the same level and providing some sense of community. The hardest part of rule breaking is acting on it and owning the consequences of your actions.

Overall, it is the small steps we have taken and the beliefs that we each have that lead us to break rules or initiate change. Benjamin Franklin once said, “it is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.” Ultimately, it is up to you to decide what it is for which you stand.


By Connor Eigelberger

Personally, I have my own rules for just about every aspect of my life. Rules for me are my most basic guide to life, but that in no way means I never cross the line just to test the water. One of my favorite sayings is “trust but verify.” This is something I do daily. Whenever I am given a rule, I will immediately question it.

Ben Franklin said that we should question authority. This does not mean that I disrespect rules or those who make them. Rather, I must find the why behind the rules, otherwise I will likely never believe in them. One rule I often question is that of professionality within my job. Once again, professionality is very important, but not so much that days should become monotonous.

My favorite time in which I broke the rules was in my last panel interview. Being a behavioral interview, many would see this as a place to be as professional as possible. The two interviewees who were interviewed alongside me did exactly that when asked, “Now that you know what the four of us (the interviewers) do at Anheuser Busch, who would you choose to fire and why?” The two girls were very formal and professional in their answers, but I laughed and said, “I would fire Jim, as he is a mechanical engineer, which would therefore open up the position for me”. They loved it. In this case, there was no wrong answer, but my personality came shining through, which is what the interviewers were wanting. 

I can happily confirm this joke left the interviewers raving about my confident, yet fun demeanor, and they offered me a Co-op the following week. While I love professionalism, this is one place where I believe it is may have held me back, so I take a moderate to professional approach for my career. Being sure to take certain rules with a grain of salt and not being afraid to break them has helped me get outside my comfort zone and push further in my pursuit of success.

By Zachary Boehl 

I break rules. If you think less of me for doing so, I can live with that. I will tell anyone without a hint of shame: I know the rules, I understand why they were made, and sometimes, I ignore them. 

Rules are designed to help us, but many people forget one thing: rules are not facts, but theories (and working theories at that). These theories were created with the knowledge available in the past and constantly need to be reevaluated. This is because they can inhibit what’s possible. I choose to break rules, not for the sake of breaking them, but for the sake of progress. 

One such rule is also a cliché: “You cannot do it all.” While I understand I am not omniscient and would be conceited to take blame for the troubles of the world, I do task myself to help everyone around me in whatever way I see possible. I have skipped meals, lost sleep, and missed out on enjoying free time for the sake of helping others. I have been pushed to my limits and worn to exhaustion because I would not tell somebody no, and I cannot name a time when I felt more accomplished. I break rules, and many of the people around me are thankful for it.