If The Tradition Fits

Some weeks, it seems, there are topics that just keep coming up again and again across many different conversations. This week was no different. Nearly every single day, I heard, “That’s just how we have always done it.” Or, “It’s tradition.” I am not kidding when I say almost everyday in a different setting or conversation this topic arose. There is a lot to think about when it comes to tradition and why it can either hurt you or help and bless you. Sometimes, it may even do both of those things. I wanted to spend a brief few minutes here today with you all sharing some thoughts on this.

There is something to be said for tradition’s place in our world. Religions, workplaces, celebrations, funerals, weddings, familial relationships, sports, schools, and many other things are steeped in tradition. And while there is nothing wrong with tradition when it’s properly employed and respected, there IS something wrong with doing things for traditions sake alone. There should be something in us that perks up a tad and maybe even questions something when we hear it said that, “This is the way we have always done it.” In an ever-changing world, our willingness to adapt is important. To me, as long as it doesn’t compromise who I am at my core and what I believe is right, moral, and good there isn’t anything wrong with letting go of tradition that isn’t serving any purpose other than the tradition itself. Things can get lost in translation sometimes, too. From one person to another. From one generation to another. Things need to be explained clearly. 

I don’t know if you’ve ever heard the story of the girl who was watching her mother prepare a ham for a family gathering one evening. Her mother cut both ends off the ham. The girl questioned her about it. The mother said that this was the way that her grandmother had always done it, and it was how she learned to do it, so she just continued. The mother assumed there had to be a valid reason for doing it, like the ends would get too hard, or it could soak up more juices during cooking, so she just continued that tradition without really understanding why. The girl then called her grandmother to ask what the reason might be. The grandmother gave the same answer her mother had given. She said her mom always did it that way and she assumed there was a good reason for it, so she just continued. She told the girl to call her great-grandmother and ask what the reason might be. The girl did just that. When she asked her great-grandmother if the ends would get too hard, or if the ham soaked up more juice while cooking, the great-grandmother said, “No. Nothing like that. I never had a pan large enough to fit the entire ham so I had to cut the ends off to make it fit!” The story gives us a good picture of how much meat had likely been wasted through the years simply because they were doing something they were taught to do without question. This can translate to many different areas of our lives. In other ways and other circumstances, traditions can certainly help us. We are often the recipients of blessings because of the traditions that our families and others have put into practice. Personally, I think of our family traditions around certain events and times. Those have brought blessings for sure. I mean, my mom DID cook the whole ham, though. *wink-wink*

This week I heard and thought a lot about these two phrases: “We don’t need to reinvent the wheel,” or “If it’s not broken don’t fix it.” While I understand the idea behind both of these, I tend to disagree slightly. Sometimes, we miss out on improvements that really are beneficial and can enhance our way of life. Think about the actual wheel itself . . . how many times has it changed? How many ways have light bulbs evolved? How have cars changed over the years? To me, there’s nothing wrong with seeking to improve upon things that are working to make them even easier, more convenient, or beneficial. 

Now, how does this translate to my health and wellness journey, you ask? I think that we can swap the word “tradition” for the word “habit” here. Traditions are typically a broader-scoped term that involves many people. Habits can be rooted in tradition but can be scaled down to the individual. But the same concepts can apply to both. We can easily see how there are habits formed that almost become tradition when it comes to weight loss, health and wellness, and exercise. There are groups of people who say, “This is the way weight loss works best.” Or, “This is the way it needs to be done to achieve the highest level of fitness.” Again, these habits can either hinder/hurt us or bless/help us. Through the years, we have seen aerobics, yoga, weight training, cardio, and other “health crazes” take hold. I believe there are a couple of different camps when it comes to all the ways health can be achieved. There are those who will jump on ANY and EVERY new thing that comes along. And there are others who want to stick to what they have always done because they’ve always done it that way. Neither of those are wrong. They are just different. But not wrong. 

When it comes to figuring out what works for you, in either tradition or habit, you have to find what resonates with you. You have to find what works best for you. There is always room for improvement. Always. I don’t think that we ever reach the point of perfection in anything we do. And I can’t say that everyTHING will reach a point at which it can no longer be improved. The best way is to find out how things work best and help you. More importantly, use what you’ve learned to evaluate the best way forward in any situation. And figure out WHY you are doing what you do the way you are doing it. When I was going to school to be a teacher, one of the math classes I took taught us how to teach math to others. One of the most important points our instructor relayed to us was to make sure we were explaining to those we were teaching the WHY behind what and how we were doing things. When you can figure out the why behind your actions, it helps the actions make sense. And over time, it becomes clearer. Figure out what traditions/habits are working for you. Figure out WHY you are doing them in the first place. If you can’t come up with a valid reason for doing something the way you are doing it, seek out those who have done it before. Let them explain what they were thinking and what the reasons behind their actions are. Then make a decision to stick with it or move along. Either one of those is fine as long as your “why” follows you. Whatever you do, don’t be satisfied with doing it a certain way because “it’s tradition.” You might end up losing a lot of good meat that way. And, in the end, do it your way. You’re worth it.

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

2 thoughts on “If The Tradition Fits

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