In today's world we must foster a fluid identity to survive as part of modern society. For many it is an unsettling and sometimes coercive society to say the least, and mere 'go with the flow' survival misses the point. Tradition has been used negatively as a contrast to being original and unique, but innovation, in fact, is how many traditions originated. Yet the concept of tradition, as the notion of holding on to a previous time, persists. Fly fishing and wing-shooting are loaded with tradition, as is cooking, the arts, science, farming, the holidays, and sports. Tradition gives meaning to our survival.
Science and technology revolutionize our lives, but memory, tradition and myth frame our response. ~ Arthur M. Schlesinger
Recently, I asked some friends the question: "What are the first words you think of when you hear the words "tradition" and "heritage"?
I received a variety of answers.
One replied, "Tevye, the word appears and the song is in my head." Another said "MSU football and Oktoberfest". Yet another, "The Last Weekend of April on a special little stream." Then finally, "Tradition = family celebrations, Heritage = something inherited from the past and stewarded for future generations", which was more like what I was expecting. The broad scope of answers underscored that "tradition" means many things to many people.
Tradition is the here and now linking a revered past to an unsteady future. Tradition is the fletching on the arrow that stabilizes the flight of our lives and times. Tradition celebrates. - WES:::