Occasional Rule Follower

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Rule following. It comes naturally to some, not always to me. Does that surprise you?

I want to respect other people and do no harm, but if a rule exists, I tend to want to know why. Complying with rules for the sake of rules doesn’t really come naturally. During the flight safety demo, I dive deeper into the book I’m reading. In school, my favorite place to play was an area that the school literally named, “Off Limits.” I thought that was just what the patch of trees was called, not an actual rule!

There are pros and cons to being a nonconformist or boundary pusher. And there are some areas of life, however, where I can flip the switch and be on perfect scout’s behavior.

One big one is following all the posted signs and stuff in public lands, national parks, and wildlife preserves.

While most of my instincts lean towards hopping fences and going off the main path, in these settings, I understand and can get behind the reasons these rules exist. Places like Zion, Yellowstone, or Horseshoe Bend are exhausted from the amount of visitors they take every year and that puts their ecology at risk.

Making visits more coordinated, streamlining human activity, and enforcing area restrictions aren’t total fixes, but they’re important for allowing these spaces to stay healthy while keeping them open for people to enjoy.

As much as I’d like to be my own trailblazer and beat my own drum, especially when basking in nature, it’s not about me. These places belong to the planet and to generations before and after.

Philippe Lazaro