Traditions are different today
Traditions are not what they used to be
Now that the major holiday season of each year is behind us – I had a curious thought the other day. About traditions. Such as religious holidays like Christmas, or other patriotic ones like 4th of July, or even Thanksgiving. I for one, feel they have lost their “oomph.”
And the main reason (out of many) is our “exposure” to the external world has gotten too wide to allow these relatively narrow traditions to continue in their previous form.
Too commercialized. Add in the internet and demystification of legends like Santa Claus.
The “me, me, ME!” instant gratitude everyone takes care of themselves.
In the end – hype of everything reduces the meaning of everything.
Those very few “special moments” each year were distant enough to allow them to retain significance – and their mystery. Today? Everything is “epic” and super-important.
From charity events to candlelight vigils, to political garbage and season finales, and just about everything else. Everything is marketed and hyped to the Nth degree. The status and marketing frenzies that assault most of us daily – kind of blur out all of it. Almost self-defeating.
When we were “simpler” people – with PAUSES in-between “must see TV” or other FOMO type events almost every day – we had time to be alone in our thoughts. Formulate our personalities. To shape our own characters without influences. We used our time VERY differently just 30 years ago. More patient. Less stressed. And in fact – a LOT more tolerant of others. Now everyone is a nutjob that no sane person would be tolerant of. And that has changed the dynamic in a very impersonal way. The lack of soul I witness around me is astounding.
Those Christmas traditions (while I feel consumerism and validation via superficial means is wrong), still had a loving feel about it. There were not tapping on phones. Sure, the TV was on (bad in its own right), but as fake and manufactured as it was – it affected a lot of people. They wanted to let their guard down and be warm and loving towards others. Spending time with people in front of the fireplace and Christmas tree was nice.
In today’s world – it’s like a cheap strip mall. Everything is commoditized. You’re just a unit. And what they want is everyone to be a unit. And that is what they’ve succeeded in doing. You now have 40-year-old CHILDREN who get upset if they can’t brag about “what they GOT” for Christmas to their equally superficial friends or co-workers.
I know some in both camps. Some like me, who feel adults should never feel obligated to engage in the gift game (kids, perfectly okay – as long as it doesn’t screw them up going forward). But I also know others who still get excited by the Xmas shopping, giving, and receiving. I don’t think it’s wrong per se – but to me, I think they’re more victims than genuine voluntary participants. If generosity and gratitude were the name of the game – that would be shown all year round. Not just when “game is on.”
Hype has killed traditions.
(Here’s an interesting video from Prager U about the family man. Sort of along the same lines.)