Child: Why do other people not follow the rules, but we have to follow them?

@yihong 0618 encountered such a problem:

This time, after experiencing queuing at scenic spots, getting off and on the subway, and seeing some people feeding fish in ponds where it was not allowed, my son asked us a question that seemed easy to answer but I didn't know how to answer it for a 5-year-old child: "Mom, why don't other people follow the rules, but we have to?"

I often encounter similar questions. For example, some people run red lights, don't wear helmets, cut in line, or hoard restricted medicines, etc.

From a sense of morality and understanding of good and evil, my usual answer is: we cannot lack manners like others.

If she cuts in line to register for a dying child, do you think she has low or high manners? If he overtakes and cuts in to perform surgery on a child who is about to die, is he good or evil?

This matter falls on oneself. On one hand, how do you view people who do not follow the rules? On the other hand, how do you view your own feelings after benefiting from others not following the rules?

@HowardSu provides a standard paradigm:

Because following social rules means taking relatively less risk. Rules are not absolute, but are meant to avoid trouble. Choosing to follow the rules reduces the probability of encountering trouble, while not following the rules increases the probability of encountering trouble.

Looking at this matter from the opposite perspective, if a person can have thick skin and bear the risk, they can immediately gain immediate benefits. For example, if someone wants to hoard medicine, they have to cut in line to buy it, and assuming this medicine is equally important to everyone, does this person take away your right to survive?

Society is built on the basis of mutual respect, mutual understanding, and the protection of rights between people. If we only focus on our own needs and ignore the rights of others, then society will eventually be unable to function.

Recently, there was news of a pair of grandparents and grandchildren who cut in line and were exposed on the internet. This is a real case of the high-risk consequences of not following the rules.

But I think these reasons are not enough, at least I don't think so.

Why do we follow the rules? I think the key is to save the brain's information processing cost and mental exhaustion.

Following the rules is a habitual behavior that does not require much thought and judgment. It can be done automatically, saving us a lot of cognitive resources and allowing us to focus our limited attention and energy on other more important things.

If your skin is not thick enough to be arrogant between heaven and earth, when you plan to violate the rules, your brain must go through a round of precise calculations and evaluate the unexpected events caused by uncertain factors. You need to accumulate more energy than usual to drive this abnormal behavior.

The various troubles caused by not following the rules need to be dealt with and handled in real-time, increasing the complexity and uncertainty of life, leading to unexpected consequences.

You may have escaped from this red light without a camera, but will you be so lucky with the next red light? Over time, you will lack the necessary vigilance towards red lights, and the consequences are self-evident.

The biggest reason we follow the rules is to minimize these troubles and accidents, reduce psychological burden, and avoid being entangled in whether to cut in line or overtake.

Simplify things. If you think queuing is troublesome, then don't go.

Once, I went to buy bubble tea and there was a long line in front of Chatime, but the neighboring bubble tea shop had no customers. I decisively went to the neighboring shop to buy. As long as it's not urine, I can hardly taste any difference. But if you insist that the pearls in Chatime can prolong life, I won't stop you.

Even if you eat shit in front of me, it is still your freedom, but you can't force others to take a bite just because you think it tastes good.

Following the rules represents taking the simplest and most direct course of action, without the need to go around in circles. This precisely conforms to the theory of straight lines, achieving the maximum goal with the minimum consumption.

Let's simplify our lives and focus on what truly matters.

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