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  December 18, 2015
The War on Tradition...

 

Sometimes the most ordinary things can be made extraordinary, simply by doing them with the right people.
                                     ~Nicolas Sparks

Recently, our house has been abuzz with activities concerning the upcoming holidays.

Lights have been strung under the eaves of the house, through the bushes and shrubs, and up the bare trunks of the palm trees in front of our home.

A Christmas tree has been purchased from a local lot and set up in Christmasa prominent place in the house; adorned with lights, ornaments, and an angel at the top. Many different sizes and shapes of gift are situated just below the largest of the tree branches.

Home-made red and green Christmas stockings, each personalized with our family members’ names intricately knitted, are hung along the mantle of our fake fireplace (a gas fireplace is fake in my opinion).

An evergreen wreath is attached to our front door, holiday cards are decoratively displayed, and Christmas candles are lit each evening.

Although we no longer are parents of young children, my wife and I still enjoy sitting together to watch Rudolph Charlie Brown Christmasthe Red-nosed Reindeer, the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and It’s a Wonderful Life.

I have watched these shows no less than 50 times, but they still rekindle fond memories of my entire family sitting around an old 19" black and white television on chilly December nights (the only time of the year that one could watch these shows) passing around a bowl of freshly popped corn with the crackle of a warm fire and the smell of fresh pine lingering in the air.

Later, I had the opportunities to share these same experiences with my own children... although through the "magic" of videotape... we could now watch these same shows on a hot day in July if we so wanted...

Such are the long-standing traditions of the holiday season at our home...

Traditions are a way to hold on to the past... to wax nostalgically of previous times shared with friends, family and loved ones... to apply special meaning to events or family practices.

They help to pass along beliefs and/or behaviors to members of family, organization, or a society.

Many traditions are typically centered about certain holidays and observances, such as Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Fourth of July, and St. Patrick’s Day.

Other traditions concern rituals and ceremonies to mark life events, such as birthdays, weddings, and funerals. Blowing out candles on a cake... tossing a bouquet... reciting Psalms 23...

Different religions have their own traditions as do the multitude of geographical regions and sovereign states throughout the world.

Families have their own traditions that they have passed from generation to generation...

My children now make many of the same dishes that their great-grandmother prepared for her table on Thanksgiving... and perhaps one day... they will pass it along to their children.

While some traditions are a great way to pass a legacy to our children, there are some legacies that have simply outgrown their usefulness or have now become symbols of an era when intolerance, ignorance, and hatred toward others prevailed.

Such traditions may include such items as flying the confederate flag, fraternity hazing, and/or using racial epithets to name sports teams...

Although there are still those who will defend these practices as "tradition", there is no place in a modern society for these outdated and potentially dangerous behaviors and customs.

I often find the oxymoronic phrase, "a new tradition" amusing.

The phrase is commonly found among Madison Avenue marketers seeking to start some new trend or fad that they can monetize.

Something is either new... or it is traditional... but it can’t be both at the same time...

If tradition is a way to preserve the past... then exploration and innovation are the paths to discover new futures.

New ideas, methodologies, and processes are causing us to change the way we live, play and work.

The lines that once defined everything we do are now blurring, while on their way to complete elimination...

No longer can we hold the reasonable expectation that things will be the same tomorrow as they are today.

The war has been declared between the traditionalists and the innovators.

Traditionalists are comforted by, and have great reverence for, the ways of the past... they understood how things used to work, what the rules were and where they stood...

They typically fear change because it brings uncertainty and rewrites the rules of order.  

People are creatures of habit. Change causes distress.

Change forces people to relearn much of what they already know.

Innovators are focused on the technology driving us into the future. They aren’t satisfied with the status quo and seek to disrupt it at every opportunity.

They believe that all change is good... and that traditionalists are hanging onto antiquated ideas and customs well beyond their usefulness.

Change causes the world to re-write the rules of play... re-evaluating everything that we know and love. It transforms our thoughts, ideas and standard operating procedures...

Technology has been the catalyst for much of the change we are experiencing today.

In the same way that certain traditions are being eliminated, not all innovation is beneficial to society...

Technology is changing so rapidly, on so many different fronts, that most of us are unable to keep up.

By the time the world learns to effectively use one technology, it is soon replaced with another... which is quickly replaced with still another...

This is the very reason that so many of us are clinging to the tools and ideas that seemingly work for us... with the rationale, "if it isn’t broke... then don’t fix it".

The war between tradition and technology will be fought until the end of time...

It is comforting knowing that certain traditions are so well-entrenched that their likely demise will supersede my lifetime...

Technology might change the way things are done... or how we communicate...

...but in the end... the world is made up of people who share many of the same hopes... dreams... and fears...

We all want a safe and secure world, living in abundance rather than scarcity, sharing ideas of love rather than hate, and creating a tradition of peace...

Thank you for your support of OptiFuse where we attempt to marry new innovation with the tradition of personalized service...



Jim Kalb Jim Kalb President

Email -  jimk@optifuse.com
Website - www.optifuse.com
Blog - www.optifuse.blogspot.com 
Twitter - @OptiFuse


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