Sunday, May 26, 2019

Change and Tradition

I have been thinking about change and the incredibly rapid change we experience in the 21st century--no humans ever experienced change of the speed and import we endure as a regular course of existence. Here is the end of a piece I wrote on it recently. Read the rest here.

 An Anchor of Tradition

Tradition, though under attack almost everywhere, may be our only means of finding a rudder with which to guide ourselves through these times of change. To bring balance to our lives, we must hold on to traditions that have stood the test of time or restart some anew. We must have places in our lives that aren’t subject to constant disruption and changing fads.

These might be carving out quiet times more in line with the pace at which our ancestors lived their best days, unencumbered by technological distraction. These might be church services and the inherited religious teachings that sustained our forebears. These might be ditching the latest self-help book and picking up a great text that helped build men and women of character for generations. These might be teaching our children about the great men and women of the past who built our civilization, while all around us the snobbery of the current age tears it down.

If we are to regain balanced, ordered, and grounded lives, we must find some places of refuge from constant change. Doing so will require two great virtues that seem sorely lacking today—humility and courage.

We must have the humility to give some benefit of the doubt to inherited traditions, understandings, and ideas. And we must have the courage to stand firm in their defense, when others would rip them down or just toss them aside for the sake of convenience, self-expression, or enhanced entertainment.
Change is inevitable and often healthy. But it’s up to us whether we will manage our own lives through the change swirling around us, or if we will be managed by it.

No comments:

Post a Comment