Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Sydney. Sydney Wonders, “Why do we have rules?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Sydney!

When you want to ask your teacher a question during class, what do you do? Do you simply shout out your question as soon as it enters your mind? Or do you instead raise your hand and wait until the teacher calls your name?

If you politely raise your hand first, it's probably because your teacher has a rule that states that's what you're supposed to do when you have a question. Can you imagine what it would be like if everyone could simply talk whenever they wanted during class?

What if everyone could simply get up and do whatever they wanted to during class? Do you think much learning would take place? Instead of an orderly, peaceful learning environment, a classroom without rules would be chaotic!

If you're like many kids, you might feel like there are too many rules. After all, you have rules at home. You have rules at school. You have rules in the sports you play and the clubs you participate in. Why do we have to have so many rules? In fact, why do there have to be any rules at all?

As you've probably already guessed from the classroom example described above, rules create order out of chaos. Although you might want to be able to do whatever you want to do whenever you want to do it, you probably wouldn't want the same absence of rules to apply to everyone else.

To live and function in a society, we must have rules we mostly all agree upon. Sometimes these rules are informal rules, like the ones we have at home and in the classroom. Breaking these rules may have consequences, such as a time out or detention, but breaking them usually doesn't mean you're going to jail.

Sometimes important rules are codified and applied to everyone in a particular community. These rules are known as laws and breaking them can have more serious consequences, such as going to jail or paying a fine.

When you learn to drive, you'll realize how many rules apply to the act of operating a motorized vehicle. You can't go as fast as you want any time you want. You can't just park anywhere you want to. You can't drive on whatever side of the road you want to drive on.

The rules for driving share a common goal with many of the rules you must follow in all aspects of life on a daily basis: keeping you safe. If you made a list of the rules you follow each day, you'd quickly realize how many of them exist to keep you safe and make your life more enjoyable as a result.

Just imagine what life would be like without any rules. What if anyone was allowed to take anything they wanted, including your stuff? What if people were allowed to drive their cars on sidewalks, where you ride your bike? If there are no rules to follow, things could get chaotic and dangerous.

If you really feel like a particular rule is unjust, be proactive and learn more about the rule. Who created the rule? Why is it a rule?

If it seems like there's no sufficient justification for the rule, don't ignore or break the rule. Instead, determine what you can do to try to change the rule. Working within the rules to change the rules is something legislators do every day all over the world.

Wonder What's Next?

Join us in Wonderopolis tomorrow for a brand-new Wonder of the Day that happens to be old and dusty!