But which ones serve the common good and well-being of humanity, and our own well-being, or not?
While choices and preferences define an individual, traditions define a culture, community, and society. Traditions involve interpersonal relationships as well as the role of each individual in ecosystem of the planet.
Traditions are manmade. They are not the dictates. Divinity of any faith or religion only provides the template or the guidelines for traditions. Hence, they are not absolute, but relative. They should evolve with time and with the prevalent environment of the society.
Traditions are essential for the coherent existence of family and community. They provide discipline and stability and prevent disintegration and fragmentation of the family as well as society.
Traditions are not inherited but imbibed and nurtured as part of the experiences as we grow. They are time tested and sustain themselves by the stability they provide over the time. Their value cannot be predicted but invariably established by hindsight.
Traditions should not be imposed by force or cohesion. They should be integrated in our lives as a pleasant routine and not as unpleasant burden.
Traditions are not flimsy like a feather in the wind. They are solid like the roots that prevent uprooting in any catastrophe, natural or otherwise.
Traditions must sustain the human values and at the same time reflect their changing pattern so as to remain relevant with the time.
Traditions not only relate to humans but also include our relationships with other constituents of the planet, be they living entities like animal and vegetative forms, nonliving objects like the rivers and mountains, or the energy resources from the environment.
Traditions should always lead towards the positivity and be helpful rather than hindrance to the progress of the individual, family, and society. Those traditions that fail to keep pace with the changing paradigm of the times should be modified according to the social needs.
Traditions should not be taken for granted. They are not mere practices to be followed blindly. It is obligatory for those who impose them to convincingly explain their value and the necessity for their integration in our day-to-day life.
Any practice that hurts or harms an individual, family or community cannot be condoned in the name of traditions. Traditions must uplift and empower the society rather than drag down the human values and social progress.
One should take pride in their traditions and not shy away from their practice. It is not easy; it requires courage and conviction which comes from understanding their importance. At the same time, one should not be a slave of traditions, specially those that act like shackles and retard the progress of individual or society.
Time has taught us that those cultures that followed their traditions wisely survived, while those that either surrendered their tradition or resisted their progressive change disintegrated.
Any stable culture and society of today is an ample proof of the importance and value of their traditions, very well tested over the times and against all the odds.
We should bloom where we are planted by our destiny; but we should never forget our roots and we should be proud of our traditions.