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Everyone’s Doing It…

December 4, 2013

How many traditions are carried on simply because they are traditions? We teach our kids the stories and songs we learned when we were kids simply because…we learned them when we were kids. We play Christmas songs at Christmas time simply because…it’s Christmas time, so we play Christmas songs. We ask children, “If everybody was jumping off a bridge, would you do it?”, yet we teach them that they should wear what everyone else is wearing, learn what everyone else is learning, enjoy what everyone else is enjoying, eat what everyone else is eating, simply because…everyone else (of our nationality/ethnicity/religious affiliation) is doing it.

The best traditions stand on their own merit. The best rituals arise spontaneously. The best stories tell themselves. That which serves a purpose is self sustaining; that which is purposeless must be propped up by tradition-for-tradition’s-sake.

One Comment
  1. rodney permalink

    Maybe you’re missing the MOTIVATION most people have for rituals or traditions. There are two motivations. One is the case where people DO see a personal profit in something that others may be indifferent about, or even be harmed by. The other motivation for many seemingly pointless things is they are simply part of the HAZING process of the group, which all people are subjected to, particularly if they want to be a “player”. Hazing is not just by college kids- it’s in ALL age groups. The purpose of hazing is a test by the group to ensure that the “candidate” can be trusted to obey the group and compromise on what is right when required.

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