Unlimited Limits

So yesterday my English teacher was chatting with my class about all the rules you have to follow with literature and grammer. She talked about the rules we have to use to define literature, about the rules that make a story a story, about the rules to use when writing. And she went on & on explaining them to us. But then she stopped and suddenly challenged us by asking, "Why do we have to know the rules?" Maybe she wanted to perk up the class a bit. She then answered her own question by stating, "We learn the rules so we can break them." And I was like, "What?" That totally isn't something you expect to hear from an English teacher - especially an English teacher. She went on, "Why have rules if we can't break them? Why do we have rules, if we can't challenge them?"

At first, I was thinking that's wrong - we don't have laws just so we can disobey them. There are rules in place to help us - they're there to follow as well. But I realize now what she meant. She meant more that when people set boundaries for us - for what we can and cannot do in life - we have to learn them. We learn what people tell us we can't do, so that we can show them that we can.

And on a bigger scale - people have told me that I'll never suceed, that I'll never get a job, or even get married. Those are limits people have set for me - leashes hooked to collars around my throat. Those are sores people have tried to cut into my skin. Those are my boundaries, and I'm going to break them. Because people can tell us what we can and can't do, but only we get to decide if they're right.


Glass Mannequin said...

Your absolutely right. Very insightful.

I've been told so many times in my life that being a musician is a dead end. There is no career in that sort of thing and if it is, I'll live in a terrible area and have to work two jobs to support my family.

Over the years, these comments have given me the drive to succeed. To practice for hours and hours, long after exhaustion or discouragement themselves gave up on stopping me.

A very interesting thing indeed is that I perhaps even -owe- my success to the boundaries or obstacles that people have drawn for me.

Thanks Butterfly.


Romans 12:2 said...

Thanks for the comment. When you say you'll keep coming back, that means alot to me. It gives me the incentive to work harder and longer on what I care about because I know someone is reading it.

Anyway, I have a little story to go with your post. It's too long too write so if you'd like to read it, you can copy and paste this URL in your servers adress box. The story was written by two twin brothers from Oregon. They now host the most visited blog in the world.


Lane923 said...

yeah, I was homeschooled. I go to college too now, but before then, I had been homeschooled besides one year in preschool =) you know, I've had several people tell me that I could write a book with all my blogs...we'll have to see =) I know journalism is my major and desire for a career, so we'll see where He takes me with it!

~Bronte said...

thanks! yah its hard keeping up cuz i just write wen it comes and between homework and school and cross country im pretty busy! but i love itt :) i look for ward to reading your too! have a good day!

Clark said...

Some boundaries are good, some limit your potential and some are just downright poison. Telling the difference is what a lot of this life is about. You've got a unique perspective on life.

Lol, no I didn't write them all. A few of them I added to a forward that I got from a friend. They made me smile... and belly laugh. :)

Keep writing!

"Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never--in nothing, great or small, large or petty--never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy."
~Winston Churchill

Red Eyes said...

The greatest musicians broke or re-invented the rules. The greatest writers did the same. I agree with you, nobody should put a stop sign right in front of our dreams and no one can remove it expect us. Thanks for the insight.

TIFFANY! said...

Thanks! :)
My English teacher said the same thing about breaking rules, etc.

Doug P. Baker said...

Very cool post! When I used to teach literature (homeschool co-op, grades 6-12 together) I told my students the same thing about rules of punctuation and grammar. The rules are vital, they tell us how people are going to understand what we are doing in our writing. But they are still OUR rules! They are ours to obey, and they are ours to break when we think that it is useful to what we are doing.

I'll stop back by to see what else you have to say!

Mart Bright said...

Hi Mariposa,

I teach composition at Penn State, and what I tell my students is that having the ability to use "standard grammar" and know the rules of style is like having a closet full of different clothes. People will always judge you for what you wear, so wouldn't you rather have the choice to decide for yourself about what image you want to present to which audience? If you only have shorts and tee shirts and you need to go to an interview at a bank--that's a problem. So language is like that. Choosing a voice for your audience gives you the control.

Thanks for your comment on my blog!