Jonas is feeling apprehensive before the Ceremony of Twelve (p. 9). He shares this feeling with his family, and they reassure him that most kids do fine when they are turning twelve. At first, Jonas does not feel ready to share his feelings because they are “complicated,” but after Lily shares he is able to.
Jonas sighed. This evening he almost would have preferred to keep his feelings hidden. But it was, of course, against the rules. (ch 1, p. 9)
Jonas has cause to be concerned. If an Eleven does not complete the required volunteer hours he does not get an assignment.
He had been permitted an additional month in which to complete the hours, and then given his Assignment privately, with no applause, no celebration: a disgrace that had clouded his entire future. (ch 4, p. 28)
In the Community, rules are very important. Assignments are chosen for the children when they turn twelve, and they have nothing to say about it.
Lowry, Lois (1993-04-26). The Giver (Newbery Medal Book). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.