Wikipedia:Interpret all rules
|This essay contains the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. Essays are not Wikipedia policies or guidelines. Some essays represent widespread norms; others only represent minority viewpoints.|
Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. The community has developed rules and guidelines to limit abuse of editing privileges, to improve the quality of articles, to reduce conflict and to streamline and to write the encyclopedia. These policies and guidelines are important and much thought and debate goes into each one. These rules exist in order to further the encyclopedia. It's acceptable not to know or even follow every rule but deliberately ignoring the rules is problematic.
Don't quote the rules
Always interpret the spirit of a rule. Those who make the rules (or guidelines) do not necessarily have the power to predict all possible cases - and in any case, they might be wrong. Edit in a way that best achieves the goal of each policy, although that may sometime mean going against the letter. Even if a contribution violates the precise wording of a rule, it might still be a good contribution. Similarly, just because something disruptive is not forbidden in a written rule, it doesn't mean it's a good idea. Bad rules should be changed or struck down, never ignored.
Invoking the principle of Interpret all rules on its own will not convince anyone that you were right, so you will need to persuade the rest of the community that your actions improved the encyclopedia. A skilled application of this policy will achieve agreement, even if someone notices that you violated a particular clause of a rule.
As a piece of wisdom: "Those who break rules are dumps, but the dumpiest is the one who doesn't help others when they need him at times."