Quote of the day

Posted: August 14, 2008 in Uncategorized

Traditions are group efforts to keep the unexpected from happening. – Barbara Tober

I saw this quote on my Google page and it really struck me. I’d never thought of it before, but tradition is, to a certain extent an exercise in control.

Of course, traditions aren’t all bad, they can help maintain stability.

The most obvious traditions are the family traditions, most especially – in my case anyway – at Christmas time. Most people have Christmas traditions from when the tree must go up and come down to what food will be served, who will be there, etc. Traditions which are hard to break and cause much angst and stress for everyone involved.

The most annoying tradition I’m regularly confronted with is the election of a liberal in our riding no matter what the election or how moronic the candidate is. I’m quite sure the Liberal party thinks this is a wonderful tradition. Me, not so much.

The best traditions, in my opinion, are those that serendipitously (is that even a word?) develop with your loved ones. Mr. Jazz and I have a few that I won’t go into here; you know, those stupid little traditions/rituals that nobody but us can understand and which make the daily grind that much easier to get through.

Somehow, I seem to be having major problems articulating my thoughts on this. Help me out people. Personal tradtions, family traditions, societal traditions. What do you think of them? Are they good or bad? Comforting or constraining?

Or just incredibly stupid?

  1. furiousBall says:

    I agree with this quote so much. A friend in college had a slightly different variation, “tradition is someone else’s bad idea

  2. Urban Animal says:

    I think tradition are comforting when you need them and constricting when you don’t need them. I think habits (little things you do every day) are very comforting especially when they involve a loved one 😉

  3. ticknart says:

    I think most family traditions, at least in my family, are harmless and fun.I think most governmental traditions are silly and pointless.I think most societal and religious are harmful and dangerous.

  4. Mr. Jazz says:

    I think that traditions are fun as long as they’re not traditional.

  5. Rachel says:

    I agree with ticknart and mr jazz.do you know, you’re the third blog today (including my own) to pose a quandry to her readers? Is there something casting confusion into the waters of the blogospherical world? wtf?I think traditions are important. They provide a sense of stability and purpose and direction. They keep us going. However, I also think its important to not let traditions become TOO important, to not let them become stiff, unyeilding, uncompromising. Such traditions are oppressive and destructive to human minds and the progress of change.

  6. xup says:

    I agree with UA to a certain extent. The daily habits are nice. Doing something just because it's traditional is suffocating. Some people love having Christmas exactly the same way every year — the mashed potatoes have to have lumps, the turkey has to be just a little bit burned — that can be comforting. My personal holiday traditions are that I do something completely different every year. People can do a lot of crazy & hurtful stuff in the name of tradition

  7. Ian Lidster says:

    I’m from the West. We regard Liberals as intrinsically evil.As for traditions, there are some I’m a sucker for and I think they tend to keep society connected.But, when they surpass common sense they should be aborted.

  8. Jocelyn says:

    I’m not a fan of traditions much at all. But, yes, those things that evolve naturally between people–those charm.Hey, you’re the one who first got me to use word verification…so now I may have to follow suit. Cuz I do what you do.Don’t do crack, please.

  9. geewits says:

    I was pretty much raised without traditions. Dad was a great lover of spontaneity. Instead of making me long for traditions, it made me not really care about them. Vacation traditions are good but anything else is a chore. And those little things that you and your husband do that are private? Those are always good. You’ve read my posts about how I hate Thanksgiving and think it is ridiculous, so I think that pretty much shows how I feel about that stuff. I’m not even having my annual Christmas thing this year. And by annual, I think I had it maybe 5 or 6 times. That’s enough for me.

  10. geewits says:

    I didn’t read the other comments until I had posted mine. I just want to say you have some very savvy readers.

  11. Jazz says:

    Fuball – I like thatUA – I guess when they become constricting is when you have to do away with them.Ticknart – Spot onMr Jazz – You would! ;-)Rachel – You’re so damn articulateXUP -People can do a lot of crazy and hurtful things in the name of tradition Which is probably why Christmas is such a hurdle for a lot of people.Ian – Then I live in an intrinsically evil part of town.Joce – OK I won’t do crack, but will you follow if I dance naked on the sidewalk at rush hour? Oh, and for the record, I haven’t gotten any spam comments yet.Geewits – Vacation traditions, you mean like that beach house I’m going to have to sleep in eventually?

  12. I think it entirely depends on how you feel about a particular tradition. If it brings you pleasure or comofrt, keep it. If not, toss it. Easy as that.

  13. I think it entirely depends on how you feel about a particular tradition. If it brings you pleasure or comofrt, keep it. If not, toss it. Easy as that.

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