Principles are fundamental. They influence us everywhere. Even if we are not aware of them. They describe the fundamental ideas that govern our behavior or thoughts.
Consequently, they will also be at the base of how rules are going to be set and understood.
An interesting difference is how principles and rules motivate us.
Whenever we learned and decided to adhere to a principle it becomes a guideline, one that we use to decide on how we’ll act. They become an internal motivation. We use them to decide for ourselves what is right and good.
Rules on the other hand are given or set. They are defined in such a way that they can be enforced. A rule becomes a rule once the way it will be enforced becomes clear. That is when there is a description of the threat or punishment that results whenever the rule is not followed. Independently from the fact that we can perceive a rule as useful and necessary, we experience then as an obligation. They are an external force we are subject to.
It is based on our principles that we’ll follow a rule and accept the obligation to do so. It is also based on our principles that people may choose a different path.
In times of covid, finding the space between rules, perceived rules, that is social pressure, and principles is how people decide what they can do to handle daily life.