Yes, tradition. And, change. (revisited)
How a spare tire, a creed written in 1928, and a welder can teach us to create meaningful progress in the world.
In May of 2021, I wrote about tradition and change. Since then, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the vital connection between the two for creating real progress. I don’t want to stop thinking about it, talking about it, and doing something about it, because I believe our world needs to grapple with this concept perhaps more now than ever. We waste hours of our lives, we ruin relationships with our friends, and we fail to move forward because we are too busy arguing over the wrong thing. Most intelligent, compassionate, driven people want progress; the difficulty arises when we consider change to be a synonym of progress and we fail to honor the sentiment of those who deeply value tradition.
Last fall, I had the privilege of mentors with which to process ideas, a stage on which to speak, and a young audience eager to make their mark on the world. I chose to share this message of tradition and change because I felt, deep in the core of my being, it was the message I was destined to share and one which needed to be heard by members, friends, supporters, and stakeholders of the National FFA Organization. Yet, the message carries far beyond the scope of FFA. The desire to change and the desire to conserve tradition are both strong impulses and ones which should be taken seriously, and ones which transcend any particular organization, industry, or group.
I’m revisiting this topic by sharing that speech. Watch and listen, but even more importantly, identify where it applies to your life and how you can make the world a better place through both tradition and change. This is one of the most fundamental dichotomies which must be dissected if we expect to build stronger communities, more meaningful relationships, and a more abundant life—for ourselves and others.
Do you tend to lean more towards embracing change or protecting tradition? Why do you think that is? Drop your thoughts in the comments below or tag @miriamrosah on Twitter or Instagram. I’d love to learn from you.
On the same note, some of what I shared in this speech is an analogy for a concept called Chesterton’s Fence. If you’re curious to hear a direct perspective on what the concept means and how it can apply to our thinking and decision-making, check out this great article from the Farnam Street blog.
Oh, and by the way… this whole #EmbracingComplexity project is going to be changing in the very near future. Keep an eye on your inbox next Tuesday morning to find out where we’re going from here.