If you knew me 10 years ago and told me tradition was a good thing I would have laughed at you. Traditions were for the mindless, the creatively challenged, etc. What my pre-maturely developed brain was unable to grasp is that tradition, at least tradition that has value, is exactly the opposite. It requires purposeful thought to create it, action to continue its institution, and remembrance of the virtue that inspired it in the first place. After being alive long enough to absorb a few of life’s lessons I have come to appreciate tradition.
Obviously for tradition to be valuable it must be understood. Rarely does replicating an act you do not understand prove to be a valuable exercise.
I have decided to start a tradition of my own this year. It’s simple. Traditions do not need to be events that rival the election of the Pope by the College of Cardinals or the inauguration of the President. The regalia should be found in the virtue the tradition commends to us.
My tradition is to acknowledge the individual I personally know that endured hardship during the preceding year in an admirable manner. I am the sole and arbitrary judge of who qualifies and deserves the award. I am like Churchill during WWII except not so much hangs in the balance.
Here are the steps I took to create and implement the tradition:
1. Determined a virtue I wanted to remember and recognize.
2. I bought the most manly note cards I could find at Target for $9.99.
3. Spent a year observing and 15 minutes writing to the individual commending them.
4. Purchased a gift that will only be known between me and the recipient and delivered it with the note.
5. Setup a calendar reminder so I’ll do it again next year.
Here is to tradition. May it trounce the next generation of 18 year old know-it-all as it has me.