What makes a tradition stick? We have so many old traditions that we repeat year after year without thinking about where they come from and why we do them in the first place. Sometimes we talk about them, share origins with our children, and pass them on to others. They mean something to us so we keep them alive.
Sometimes we allow old traditions to fade away, forgotten, no longer relevant or so lost in the concept of themselves that they’ve become a thing we do just because we always have. Some of them lose their meaning, origins and stories that disappear with time.
Sometimes we realize that an action we’ve traditionally done doesn’t fit our world view anymore – when we realize that our values don’t match the meaning behind a tradition, or when we find that something we once thought of as harmless fun actually causes pain to others that we never used to see.
A tradition shouldn’t be maintained just because it’s always been so. We change, we grow, we learn and adapt. This is who we are. It can be hard to let things we’ve always done stop, but it can be healing.
As we remove the old, worn traditions that no longer serve our world view, we make room for building new ones, or adapting the old to fit who we are as individuals, as families, as people.
Let us carry on with the old traditions that bring us together and help us connect and give us a way to see across time into our past. But let us also move ahead, start new traditions, find new paths for connecting not only with those we always have, but also with those we haven’t. Let us learn to make our own traditions that stick.
And let the traditions that can no longer serve us fade into memory. Someday ours will do the same.