TRADITION: Just because you’ve always done it that way doesn’t mean it’s not incredibly stupid
I thought I would take our blog to a different topic and discuss “tradition”. Now before we get too technical let’s think about what hinders us from moving forward in our community. It seems as though “tradition” in the sense of attitude, the past, our experiences, perceptions and even perhaps our way of behaving can cause us to be trapped in a thought that nothing will ever change. I have this poster displayed in my office and think often of what needs to be done to move forward in business, in life or in the pursuit of happiness. Many traditions are good, but when a tradition OR a way of doing things hinders us from moving ahead to perfect our quality of life then maybe its time to change it. We have discussed so many items already about negativity and perception of our community. For us to move forward we must let go OR learn from our past in an attempt to find new ways of doing things so we can achieve positive results.
I will share a few examples; several that I hope to discuss and organize some thought around for future blogs. The first is Education. When you think about the days we were in high school we had many “traditions” and the experience in high school was much different than it is today. Our four year tradition continues decades later but is it working in our modern day today? We are holding on to the typical classroom style teaching that once worked for many of us but the results in todays schools across this country are not working for every student. Look at it this way… 1/3 of students are most likely ready to begin college much sooner and are most likely not impressed with typical high school traditions, another 1/3 of students are performing well academically, involved in sports, go to dances and love the traditions that we all enjoyed growing up, and the final 1/3 of students don’t fit in, aren’t performing academically, don’t participate in sports or other activities and most likely aren’t interested in a four year college. Tradition in this case keeps us working toward similar results for students but the tradition simply doesn’t fit ALL and we are hindering our ability to change the way we meet the needs of these students. Looking at the results I think we could all agree that “traditional” high school experiences aren’t working for the majority of our students.
Now, looking at our past I can give a positive example of a “tradition” that once worked yet we no longer follow. That tradition is family time. In todays’ world families spend less than 1/2 the time together that many of us did growing up. Families are in 70% divorce, finances are a struggle, kids are often left on their own, and the traditional style of family night, games nights and time together is lacking. A tradition that once worked is not commonly practiced and again I ask that we look at the results.
So the question remains: just because we always did it that way doesn’t mean we have to continue. So lets talk about things we would like to see change and maybe those that we need back.