"Be conservative in what you do; be liberal in what you accept from others." - Jon Postel
The TCP robustness principle, published in 1981 and otherwise known as Postel's Law, was designed to ensure a stable and robust network in which each node strives to comply with standardized protocols -- yet at the same time is highly fault-tolerant and able to deal with all possible errors that might be committed by other nodes on the network. This rule became part of the basic system architecture of TCP/IP, and the result was a highly stable and resilient Internet.
Seems like a good rule to follow in real life, too. When you think about it, society is really just a network of people.