Thursday, May 19, 2011


Cultural traditions are built around life's hardships in much the same way Oysters grow pearls around grains of sand.  The worse the hardship, the more significant the tradition.  Nobody celebrates convenience.  It's the harvest, which once came at the cost of weeks of back-breaking labor, that we celebrate, not the advent of supermarkets that sell three varieties of fresh apples in the dead of winter.  Our ancestors hung traditions on hardship to remain sane in bygone eras in which the world was a hard place and we couldn't even understand why.

This is part of the reason that new technologies always come with controversy.  New technologies are invented in order the smooth away hardships, even if just by inches, but what older generations see is the loss of traditions that accompanies the loss of each hardship.  The solution to this perennial problem is to either extend ourselves outward to bring new, voluntary hardships into our lives or else to begin celebrating the things that make our lives easier.

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