I’m sticking with something big and important happened yesterday, I just don’t know what it is. It will take some time for me to be proven wrong to my satisfaction. It is the great thing about being an oddly positive person.
My muscles are twitching all over my neck, shoulders, and the base of my skull and sending little juts of pain rocketing through my head. I don’t think that is normal. I think it is time to start doing Pilates again.
Most of my brain is very busy on something it has been chewing on for a few days. I’ve written about this before. It is like working on a puzzle without a picture of what it is supposed to look like or even knowing if you have all the pieces. Sometimes, I finally figure it out and am sorely disappointed with what I had been working on. I am going to pretend those were pieces for something later.
Sometimes the pragmatic voice kicks in and tells me I just think too much. I mean, really, what good does pondering society, morality, and all of the crap I wander around think about do? Some people in history have changed the world with their wandering and pondering, but, really, how realistic is it that I will ever contribute like that? Then I realize it doesn’t matter. I think too much. Big fracking deal. So what if I spend too much pondering the push and pull of tradition versus progression on societies and the stress the imbalances cause? Worst thing that happens: I waste my time. I’m not entirely sure that I believe wasting time is as big of a sin as everyone claims it is. Also, I look like a fool, and honestly, I’ve had to adapt to that over the years.
I keep trying to pull together these threads in my mind about tradition versus progress and fear as a survival tool and a hindrance to personal progress. I mean, I see where they go together. Both tradition and fear ensure survival of the species in some instances. Fear tells us there is danger ahead. It warns us that there will be consequences for our behaviors. Tradition is the path that those before us made it to this point. It worked for those who came before us.
On the other hand, fear, if not examined, can keep us from succeeding or even progressing in our lives. Some fears are good. Holy shit, getting too close to the fire will burn me. If I get caught cheating on my mate they are going to be really pissed and I might be without a mate. We have to learn to examine our fears to use them like the tools that they are. If we don’t, they begin to control and hinder us. Fears of pain and humiliation are the biggest controllers in some of our lives. We shouldn’t seek pain, but we shouldn’t let the fear of it keep us from living our lives fully.
The fear and the pain itself should help us choose judiciously. Should I pursue the love with this douche bag who has cheated on everyone he has ever dated and gets violently drunk? That fear that you will get hurt is a GOOD thing. Should I avoid all human contact because humans have hurt me before? Well, examine the qualities of the people who have seriously hurt you before and don’t do those things again. By giving into fear and avoiding pain, we limit what could be wonderful in our lives.
Fear of humiliation is mostly useless. Who gives a shit if you tried to do something you love and it doesn’t work out? Your world isn’t going to end because you made an ass out of yourself at karaoke. If you try to make a go of it as a writer and never sell a thing, at least you tried. Most people are too afraid to even go that far. Now, humiliation isn’t totally harmless. There are times when you really shouldn’t do things, like get naked at the office party of your dream job for example, but most of the fear of embarrassment and humiliation is every day crap that you care about a lot more than other people do.
All of what I just wrote could be applied directly to tradition versus progress.
We have some traditions that are very good and based on sound biological needs. For example, the banding together of people into communities, physical and now over the internet, serve some very key purposes. I have very strong beliefs that people need connection, but I’m not going to get side tracked by that. I believe the transmission of knowledge from one generation to the next is exceedingly important.Traditions serve a purpose, just like fear, but, also like fear, we have to examine traditions to see if they are helpful or a hindrance.
I don’t believe in breaking tradition for the sake of being new and different, but I also don’t believe in adhering to a system just because it worked in the past. Societies and social groups are like organisms, they have to adapt or die. Hey, three hundred years ago, I would be a business piece to be bought and sold at my father’s discretion. I am extremely thankful some people looked at that tradition, realized it was some bullshit, and fought to change it. I think it is all about thoughtful examination. Thoughtful examination is hard and scary, and people don’t always want to do it. If we don’t do it, though, we won’t survive.
No wonder my neck and shoulders are all twitchy.