Societies from every part of the world inherit customs and traditions from past generations. It is these which provide them each with a certain flavour which we call by the name of ‘culture’. These cultures vary in many respects, owing both to the specific conditions of that environment as well as the religious influences which have prevailed during those times. A great number of laws, rules and patterns have formed throughout the years to which the masses follow unconsciously and obediently. They are born into them and find their way of life intrinsically based on the conditions from which they are based. How one relates to another in the community, one’s family, or business associations, are all settled according to the subtle laws that they have grown comfortably accustomed.
In modern times we find a great emphasis placed on the need to respect different cultures other than our own. It is encouraged that cities with various different types of people, speaking different languages and following different religions or philosophies, work actively to bring these people together so that there is harmony and peace throughout the land. This is a sensible duty for any ruler or government and it makes sense in relation to their desire for economic prosperity. Yet from the point of view of common sense, these different customs and traditions are of irrelevant and of arbitrary value. More often than not they are outdated and brought to bear on the current generation by way of antiquity and sheer laziness.
The laws which influence us in such a way as to suggest we should continue to follow and respect the societal traditions of the past is directly correlative to the habits found in an individual. It is the same phenomenon found on two different scales, though of course we find far more acceptance and nodding of heads to the idea that a man ought to revise his habits according to an ever-changing environment. We favour the idea that one should stay flexible and review their routines and patterns in order to ensure that they are truly flowing with the world as the latter constantly changes its tune. It has become a motto of modern days to ensure we are adaptive and receptive to conditions which are always subject to change.
So what keeps us from approaching our cultural traditions in the same way? It is obviously the pressure that is placed by one’s family, the media, government and religious authorities. First, we do not remember our early years very well. The period in which our memory is more readily available is about the same time that society had successfully taken our fluid psychologically and transformed it into a puppetry mentality. So most of us right off the bat will think in terms of these same cultural norms and believe that they are the natural way to live one’s life, think through problems, and relate to all immediate and far-reaching questions. It is only the small minority who would ever even develop a questioning attitude towards this whole can of worms.
So think of the cultures which follow older customs and the ones who seem to detach themselves more easily from the past and embrace the new. Compare and contrast their qualities, boons and benefits, issues and conflicts, and decide on which ones are constricted by the fact that they hold allegiance to antiquated values and patterns of the past. It is yet another form of insanity to take customs that were developed before your time and to simply put them on because you were told to do so. It is truly as simple as looking in the mirror after putting on clothes from decades or hundreds of years ago. The older the clothes, the more silly you will look, and this is exactly the same situation when it comes to our following old, outdated, customs and traditions from those who came before us.