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“the People We Remember Best Are the Ones Who Broke the Rules.”

  • Date Submitted: 08/18/2011 06:51 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 36.9 
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I strongly agree that rule-breakers are the most memorable people. By departing from the status quo, iconoclasts call attention to themselves, some providing conspicuous mirrors for society, others serving as our primary catalysts for progress.
In politics, for example, rule-breakers Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King secured prominent places in history by challenging the status quo through civil disobedience. Renegades such as Ghengus Khan, Stalin, and Hussein, broke all the human-rights “rules,” thereby leaving indelible marks in the historical record. And future generations will probably remember Nixon and Kennedy more clearly than Carter or Reagan, by way of their rule-breaking activities—specifically, Nixon’s Watergate debacle and Kennedy’s extra-marital trysts.
In the arts, mavericks such as Dali, Picasso, and Warhol, who break established rules of composition, ultimately emerge as the greatest artists, while the names of artists with superior technical skills are relegated to the footnotes of art-history textbooks. Our most influential popular musicians are the flagrant rule breakers—for example, be-bop (bebop:
musicians such as Charlie Parker and Thelonius Monk, who broke all the harmonic rules, and folk musician-poet Bob Dylan, who broke the rules for lyrics.
In the sciences, innovation and progress can only result from challenging conventional theories—i.e., by breaking rules. Newton and Einstein, for example, both refused to blindly accept what were perceived at their time as certain “rules” of physics. As a result, both men redefined those rules, and both men emerged as two of the most memorable figures in the field of physics.
In conclusion, it appears that the deepest positive and negative impressions appear on either side of the same iconoclastic coin. Those who leave the most memorable imprints in history do so by challenging norms, traditions, cherished values, and the general status quo—that is, by breaking the rules.

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