Why traditions matter

In this article the writer tries to clearly define the term tradition in relation to how we perceive it in the modern world. He says traditions are nothing but customs that have been done by generations before us and were passed on to us and we will eventually pass them to the future generations. The writer in specific talks about the Easter traditions. In the Easter traditions it is the norm to have bunny eggs as a highlight of this celebration. “What would an Easter without bunny eggs be?” he further asks. For the writer, he cannot fathom how this tradition would be celebrated without the presence of these ritual of bunny eggs. The writer is critical about traditions that we celebrate stating that rarely do we hear of changes in certain rituals that take place during these traditions. Can we have Easter holiday without the bunny eggs? That is the question that lingers in the writers mind. Does this mean that traditions are free from the progressive state of the world? These are some of the questions that the writer asks.

Diving into this matter the writer first of all tries to show us the importance of traditions. He states that traditions are important to humanity because they offer a sense of belonging. They give us a sense of purpose and a longing. They even bring togetherness of societies. Nevertheless, he asks whether these traditions can still maintain their meaning and incorporate a form of progressiveness in their ways or must we still celebrate them just the way earlier generations did? The writer does not dismiss traditions as a whole he reiterates that traditions are important since with them they carry a lot of lessons learnt for centuries. He states that traditions help in passing moral, customary and cultural values down from generation to generation. He even puts it that when we engage in traditions we tend to forget what he calls “self” and “our world”, and start thinking of others. So with this basis above, he refutes the notion that we should abandon traditions in full just because we think they are in the “past”.

Traditions bear a lot of wisdom and wisdom knows no time. The writer claims that we should use our wisdom to first of all receive this traditions then critic them and then later enrich them and finally humanize them. Traditions should not be imposed on humans as a burden into our future, but they should act as a reminder of where we came from and why we are doing what we are doing. He excellently puts it that if traditions would have a voice they would be saying “remember”. They should not limit us from thinking or progressing. The writer concludes by saying that we should question traditions but still remember their main basic functions. We should grow and change but at the same time still remember our traditions and who we are as humans and where we came from and by so doing we will be passing down refined traditions that still have the core foundations of their inception but are not limiting for the future generations.

Part two

Traditions form an important part of the human race. They form an important basis through which we as humans derive ideas, culture and customs. There has always been a conflict between traditions and progression. He goes on to ask if the two words can be placed in the same sentence. It is evident that traditions have a characteristic of maintaining originality in that very little changes in these said traditions. The writer has deepened my previous understanding on traditions. My previous view on traditions was that traditions were rigid rituals that any failure to follow them, one would have made serious unforgivable mistakes. I took the notion that these set of traditions are written on stone and they can never, whatever the case, be bended and failure to follow them to the letter one would suffer the wrath of societal judgment (Keenan, 2016). The writer in the article above speaks on progressiveness in regard to traditions. There is no era that humanity has experienced progression than the twenty first century. The writer has a different perspective when to it comes to the issue of traditions and progressiveness. He puts it that we should not readily dismiss traditions as the ways of the past, but rather we should view them as a blueprint on which we can forge a better future for our generations to come.

When it came to traditions I had the notion that the way in which they were celebrated as more of ritualistic and could not whatsoever change. The writer critics this notion. From the article he begins by saying that Easter traditions are characterized by the presence of Easter bunny eggs. He reiterates that Easter would not be Easter without the Easter eggs. He then critics and asks that does the eggs really make the celebration any better. Though they may have symbolic meaning but does the Easter celebration lose it main meaning just because the use of bunny eggs is not used? I had presumptions on various traditions and the writer clearly shows us that some of this presumptions hold no water. He further claims that traditions have the main core benefits which are to act as a reflection to us as human beings on how far we have come. Deep down every tradition there has to be a core motivator on why our previous generations celebrated it. Any other thing tied around this core function in just as a matter of, as the writer puts it, human sense of creativity. I had a prejudiced assumption that traditions were fixed and we as humans had to take them as they were passed down to us from previous generations. The writer criticizes this notion and supports his criticism by saying that tradition is always calling us to receive it, enrich it and give it a human feel. He adds that traditions should not act as a “think no more” notion to us humans, but as a reflection on which we use to remember where we came from. We should take the knowledge and wisdom drawn from these traditions and use them as a stepping stone to further improve them for the future generations (Keenan, 2016).

The author has considered a key angle when looking at traditions that I had never envisioned before. The writer asks an important question of the improvements we have made and still following these traditions. How was this possible even if we viewed traditions as rigid uneasy to change? He further goes on to claim that these changes should not be overlooked. I had not considered this angle of traditions. We as a humanity have experienced a lot of changes, improvements and progress. These changes could not have been made by sticking to traditional ways. This should not thus be taken for granted. He supports the idea of progression but also claims that in all human beings there exists tendency of a longing to maintain a status quo. This is maintain a sense of consistency, predictability, stability and simplicity. Could this be the reason why traditions are so much engraved in our lives? Are we as humans are so closed to change and want to maintain a way of doing that we are conversant with? This has always been my question in regard to this. The writer answers it tactfully in his conclusion by saying we should not overlook these as mere misfits but regard them as instances of success where traditions took a back seat and progressiveness took the front seat. This has been the writer’s main message in the article that, it is possible for traditions to incorporate progressiveness in them. That traditions should not be set on stone and bending them to incorporate the continuous progression society is facing should not be regarded as a taboo.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion the writers from the articles discussed in this paper tackle this emotive issue head on and helps us understand fully where we as a human race come from and the purpose of traditions. Traditions are not a set of rules that man should follow to the letter failure to which eminent punishment would awaits you either in this world or the spirit world. Traditions should be viewed in a more open and progressive perspective. We should accept that traditions are a vital part of the human race (Couldry, 2016). However, we should not conform to a state of not being inquisitive of the practices of these traditions. We should subject them to criticism with an aim of making them better for the betterment of the future generations. We should take note that we live in a world that is evolving and changes are inevitable and improvements are made daily (Woodhead, Partridge & Kawanami, 2016).  Nonetheless, the our essence as humans has remained fairly constant all through the generations due to the fact that the characteristics that define human nature are the same – (our needs, our fears).  This is where traditions plays a vital role of reminding us of who we are and also creating a form of belonging, a stable platform and a guide in our lives and our roles in our societies. It is therefore prudent for us to incorporate progressiveness in our traditions (Woodhead, Partridge & Kawanami, 2016). This means we should learn, reflect, educate and grow with them not as rigid rules that we ought to follow, but as a blueprint to where we as humanity came from and what steps we had to take to get where we are. We should always strive to enrich and humanize traditions other than just receive them.  The character called Tevye from the story from the Russian story of family forced to exile from their home country says that without traditions, then “our lives would be as shaky as a fiddler on the roof.”

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