December 4, 2010 – Tradition… We first hear this meaningful word sung through ritual by Tevye at the 1964 opening of Fiddler on the Roof. Audiences, through the realm of words put to music, hear 1905 Anatevka villagers fight to hold on to their traditions; all the while the world of their past changes before their sightless anticipation. I used to think this was only in those days. I was so wrong.
Tevye asks, “…And how do we keep our balance? That I can tell you in one word: Tradition.”
Now, that I’ve had life for many years, I ask myself, “Is it really that simple?” I answer: “Yes, some traditions anchor us and keep us centered. No, some traditions die with those who created them. Yes, I depend on some customs to recognize who I am. No, the way of life must change as we change. Yes, I’m centered within my own life experiences. No, the world’s population grows without bounds and forces change. Yes, family traditions pull us back to the core of knowing. No, politics decries separation from the people and their convention. Yes, I believe in the tenet that is tradition.
I guess we each have yes and no answers for what tradition means to us and how it may serve us in the lives we lead. But, dear reader, you are the only one who can answer the question: “And how do I keep my balance?”