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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 the scenic spots, getting off the subway before others, and seeing some people feeding the fish in the ponds of some scenic spots even though it was not allowed. My son asked us a question that seemed easy to answer but I didn't know how to answer it well when facing a child over 5 years old: "Mom, why do other people not 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 snatch restricted drugs, and so on.

From the perspective of morality and the concept 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 her manners are low or high? If he overtakes and cuts in to perform surgery on a child who is about to die, is he good or evil?

When this matter falls on yourself, on one hand, how do you view people who do not follow the rules, and 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. Therefore, 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 be shameless and bear the risk, they can immediately gain immediate benefits. For example, if they snatch medicine, they have to cut in line to buy it, and they succeed in buying it. Assuming this medicine is equally important to everyone, doesn't he 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 more important things.

If your shamelessness is not to the extent of being arrogant between heaven and earth, when you plan to violate the rules, your brain must go through a round of precise calculations to evaluate the unexpected situations caused by uncertain factors. You need to accumulate more energy than usual to promote this abnormal behavior.

The various troubles caused by not following the rules need us to respond and deal with them in real time, increasing the complexity and uncertainty of life, leading to some unexpected consequences.

You may have escaped from this red light without a camera, but will you be so lucky at 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 milk tea. There was a long line in front of Heytea, but the neighboring milk 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 Heytea 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 action plan, without the need to go around in circles. This is in line with the theory of straight lines, achieving the maximum goal with the minimum consumption.

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

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