Breaking All the Rules


change aheadIt takes brave actions to make change.  In order to make an impression and a difference, often rules need to be broken.  Playing by the rules, staying with the status quo and keeping the waters quiet lead to stagnation and stems from fear.  It doesn’t matter if you’re wanting to make wide sweeping social change or a change in your life, courage and a departure from the rules will be necessary.

We see examples of this every day in big and small ways.  It could be a child pushing their boundaries.  It could be a worker refusing to do a degrading task at work.  It could be a revolution.  No matter how big the action, change is inevitable.  And thank goodness for those brave enough to take the chance.

Change is happening constantly.  It makes me wonder why we’re so afraid of it.  Aren’t you glad we have a bill of rights?  Aren’t you glad women have the vote?  Aren’t you glad we no longer live in caves?  Aren’t you glad you moved out on your own?  Where would we be if we never changed?  I shudder to think!

There are many arenas in which change happens.


Crowd of Thousands of Rioters in Cairo
Crowd of Thousands of Rioters in Cairo

We are currently witnessing a political change – the riots in Egypt.  After 30 years of the same government (kind of sounds like Alberta a little, doesn’t it?), the people have HAD IT!

They are passionate and angry.  They are willing to do whatever it takes to get Hosni Mubarek out of power.  They need change.  They want change.  They won’t stop until they have change.

I heard a tape on the radio of a woman running from the police.  It was chilling to hear her talking on a live feed with Al Jazeera as she ran looking for someone to hide her.  She was afraid and she was determined.  Another woman was interviewed talking about how she was 20 years old and had the same government all her life.  She was so calm and collected despite having been beaten by the police earlier in the day.  She very clearly in a steady voice with no hysterics stated that she would not stop no matter what they did to her.  The fact that the protesters are breaking the rules every day is proof that big change is  inevitable and generations to come will have these brave souls to thank for it.


I heard a story recently from a Muslim woman who went to her grandfather’s funeral.  It’s against the religion for women to go to burials – even family.  Her grandfather was very important to her, so she went.  Her uncles slowly brought her in closer and closer until she was amidst all the men near the burial site.  She was given incense and placed it in the soil, as is the custom.

Back at the wake, she feared the reaction of her grandmother, aunts and other females in attendance.  They were supportive and grateful to her.  They felt she represented all of them at the ceremony.

This is a seemingly small gesture, yet it goes against 100’s of years of tradition.  That one small, bold move could change the course of women in the culture greatly over time.  One small step starts a journey.


The Cove During a Kill
The Cove During a Kill

I’ve been trying to decide on a category for this next one, but it covers so many areas.  It’s cultural, it’s political, it’s for animals, it’s unbelievably brave!

For those of you who missed the movie, The Cove, which I’ve spoken of here before, you must run out and get it NOW!

It’s an adventure story, a story of risk, a story of love for a creature that sometimes seems smarter than we are and a story that, even after seeing it, I can’t fathom.

A group of film makers discovered that there are mass killings of dolphins occurring consistently in Japan.  They risked their lives along with those of several divers and other helpers to get this story.  The thought of what was being done is chilling.  The risk to the lives and reputations of the people involved was high.  If it weren’t so clearly a documentary, the story would be hard to believe.

What’s even more amazing is that the same government that tried to ban the movie and arrest the people involved invited them to the Japan film festival!  Their risk could save the lives of 100’s and 1000’s of glorious creatures in the not too distant future.


I’m sure we all can think of people who have made a change for their own sanity or growth and how hard it was to do so.  From the woman who leaves the husband who beats her despite the fears of what he will do and wondering where the next cheque will come to feed her kids is making a brave change.  The person who leaves a job to pursue their dream while everyone else screams that they’re crazy is taking a big risk.  The teenager who says no when everyone around them is trying meth is making a choice that may lead to a backlash that will take continued courage to endure.

What changes have you made?  What changes are you willing to make to make your life and the lives of those around you better?  What rock are you going to drop into the pool to make ripples you  may never be aware of?  Every small adjustment has huge consequences.  Be brave.  Take a risk.  Make a change.  You’ll be glad you did.

Be bold, my kitties.

Love, Christie


  1. Oh, isn’t that the truth … change is the hardest thing to just “roll with”, but most often, the rewards far outweight the hardship. Deciding to devote myself to my degree when many people felt that I was crazy to give up the opportunity to work & make money as well was a fairly daunting decision. I’ve been raised my whole life to count on being able to support myself and be thankful for a job that will let me do that. Then one day, I asked myself what it would be like to go to work & do something that I *loved* doing, that made a difference, that I didn’t spend all of my downtime trying to decompress from. Suddenly, just having a “job” wasn’t enough. I wanted to have a mission – to do something that left the world a better place and thrilled me to accomplish.
    Change is always the most traumatic thing for our species – as humans, we’re hardwired to stay where it’s comfortable; if there’s no pressure to change, we prefer the status quo. Even if it’s increasingly uncomfortable, we’ll sit right there until it becomes downright untenable. But when people decide to push for change, LOOK OUT! Women gaining the right to vote, First Nations pushing for self-government, students advocating for animal rights … it’s a beautiful thing to see. Humans may get freaked out by change, but they are also THE single most adaptable creature on the planet. So when the going gets tough, people start figuring out how to make it work – or how to get something completely different happening.
    Thank you for giving me hope for the human race on a day when I was feeling fairly pessimistic. 🙂

  2. I have a few bumper stickers about change, that are almost like a mantra. “Change is the only constant”, and “forsake inhibitions, pursue thy dreams.” decorate my life in places where I see them and choose to go with the their flow most of the time. I am human though and occasionally get flustered or caught up in the drama de jour. However after 25 moves in about as many years, several businesses launches & operation and a yes a few closures, for a variety of reasons, feel that I am living my dream and making a difference in small ways every day.

    No I am not walking in marches like those occurring in Egypt currently, nor taking underground video, however in small frequent ways I challenge folks to be their best and encourage me to be that way also.
    My grandmother walked to vote the first time 3 miles with 2 toddlers , as her husband, my grandfather, thought she might cancel his vote out if he took her to the poling station. She probably did and I am glad she broke that ground for me.
    One of my best reads of last year was Half the Sky, which epitomizes how small changes in attitude can literally change the world for half it’s population. So in the spirit of the above writing and readings, I encourage us all to dare to dream, dream large, speak up and out, exchange ideas, think, feel, and from all of this grow. We have great potential!

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