marriedtoachef.comThere are exceptions to every rule.  In fact, there is common wisdom that says exceptions prove the rule.  And I agree with that to a great extent.  Rules govern categories of things.  If the rule is inclusive of everything, meaning you can use the words ‘all’, ‘never’, and ‘always’, then the rule is a load of bull….because the universe is full of uniqueness, becoming, innovation, and individuals and so absolutes inevitably fail.  (Note the irony that I just made an absolute statement?  It’s Monday.  Deal with it.)

Exceptions are to be expected.  Exceptions in behavior even more common than in physics because humans are complex creatures making meaning out of life as we go along.  And that’s where the exceptions get interesting.   Because if they are in behavior then they come from choices and they are changeable.  The thing is exceptions in behavior are only about 50% conscious choices.  The other 50% come from unexamined perspectives and behaviors.  And then they get examined, but usually by someone else, either a bystander or the recipient of the behavior.  And at some point, someone drops a flag on the play and the behaviors come up for examination.

A really common example of this lives and thrives in the spiritual community.  There is tendency to have ‘us vs. them’ mentality between members of Religion (mostly the religions of the Book Judaism/Christianity/Islam) and members of the world wide spiritual community (a loose generic term for those who ascribe not to a formal religion but to spiritual practices of infinite variety).  The spiritual community points to Religion and says that it’s members live a duality of being spiritual or religious on their designated gathering/holy days and the rest of the time live secular lives which are contrary to their espoused beliefs.  Meanwhile members of the spiritual community point to the fact that they live their values every day because each one is holy and this is seen as an improvement and a feather in the cap of the spiritually minded.  These are grand generalities and there are all manner of gradations between these two points, but for sake of argument, let’s work with generalities.

The thing about this position with the spiritual community is it puts the exceptions in stark contrast.  If spiritual people live their spirituality every day, then all of their actions must be spiritual and reflect their values and choices.  But what happens when they don’t?  When they have different rules of conduct within their family from those they have with the greater spiritual community?  When they give themselves a pass to act badly towards others in their personal life even though they act to correct this in others?  When they use a different set of values when in public than they do when they are with their family or community?  Does this prove the rule?  Or does it highlight that spiritual doesn’t automatically mean better?

Maybe being aware of exceptions is a challenge to examine ourselves and choose to reconcile what we believe with who we choose to be each day.  It doesn’t necessarily mean choosing to act differently.  It may mean choosing to change what we believe.  Although there are always exceptions to that rule too. 🙂