Tradition: I kind of hate it.

Off with its head.

I’m not terribly fond of tradition for the sake of tradition. In fact, I wholeheartedly reject the idea that tradition or the status quo have any authority what-so-ever over what should or should not happen in any particular circumstance.

It bothers me when new ideas are squashed because they threaten to mess with the way things are. I hate it when fear of the unknown, or of losing something comfortable, keeps people from moving forward. People cling to the status quo like a comfort blankie, or worse, a bad habit they aren’t quite sure they have the fortitude to quit. I find that the status quo, like money and power, is a powerfully addictive drug, whereof the longer we hang around, the more we think we need.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I have a strong appreciation for the status quo. Statistically, if we didn’t have a status quo, there would be nothing to compare change against, as all would be in chaotic motion. And personally, we would never have a sense of normalcy or rest, as we would always be expected to learn something new. And as for innovation, the status quo gives us something to push off from, as we delve beyond the known.

In my view, though, tradition has a shelf life. It’s meant to remind us of the things that matter most. Like the oral tales passed down through generations of Navajo Indians, who speak of things otherwise erased with time, traditions can give us a sense of who we are. But those traditions are wasted on us if we fail to “push off” from their lessons. The shelf life of tradition is like that of sourdough: you can use it up, or let it go bad, or alternatively you can take a little piece off and use it to start a new batch. That’s how sourdough lives forever.

It's also how people live forever, and how we accomplish any good in this world. We learn from our traditions and then we move forward in innovation. Without progressive change, we have very little reason to look forward.

So, anyway, here's to another year. May we all break tradition in the most positive and innovative ways.

Author:
Adam Cook

Post Date:
Tuesday, December 31, 2013

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