Traditional Values

Part of me loves “Traditional Values.” Ya know, values like ‘Go Gata’, or Scrubs is the greatest show of all time, or Basketball is life.

But part of me is less certain about “Traditional Values.” Such as, Heterosexual relations/marriage, Males are superior to Females, or Men can express Anger and not Sadness and Females can express Sadness and not Anger.

I should state that I’m a Liberal through and through, if that wasn’t apparent via the previous two paragraphs.

I like to work off definitions, so let’s start there.

Dictionary.com has multiple definitions of ‘Tradition.’ The first 5 definitions are concerned with handing down previously held beliefs or cultural practices. Then it gets into Religious definitions. One for each of the JudeoChristianIslamic beliefs. I’ll give the definitions verbatim:

Judaism: body of laws and doctrines, or any one of them, held to have been received from Moses and originally handed down orally from generation to generation.

Christianity: a body of teachings, or any one of them, held to have been delivered by Christ and His apostles but not originally committed to writing.

Islam: a hadith (a traditional account of things said or done by Muhammad or his companions).

So, whether Secular or Religious, tradition is akin to handing beliefs from one generation to the next. Whether it’s from Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, or more Secular beliefs, it appears tradition is tradition.

And that’s where my issues with ‘Traditional Values’ comes to a head. Mainly because if we’re constantly being taught values of the previous generation, how are we to move forward?

So, how do we reconcile having ‘Traditional Values’ with moving forward?

Learn the values of our elders/parents/grandparents, decipher the essential message of their understanding, take that understanding and figure out an understanding that fits your paradigm (hopefully that advances it a bit), and then live out that new paradigm.

For an example, I’m a born and raised Methodist and I’ve been taught, “May the Lord be with you; And also with you.”, ‘Love others as you’d have them love you.’, and “Think Beyond Yourself.”

Personally I think those are excellent Worldviews to have. But me being me, I’m a bit biased. I’d like to think I’m a progressive, but I’m not as progressive as I want to be.

For one instance, though I’ve been better about this lately, I haven’t been open to dating/romantic relations with non-white girls. That goes against 2 of my worldviews in ‘Love others as you’d have them love you’ and “Think Beyond Yourself.”

Consciously I have nothing against non-white girls as a whole, but subconsciously I’ve had reservations. I can’t specify why I’ve had reservations as I’ve had non-white friends throughout my life. I may be harboring subconscious racist beliefs.

But like I said, I’m working on it. I kissed a Black girl a few weeks ago and it was just like kissing a White girl. I can only assume kissing a Hispanic or Asian woman would be the same.

I’d like to think I’m learning to express my worldview of ‘Loving others as I’d have them love me’ and “Think Beyond Myself”, I know I have some room to grow.

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Kindred Spirits

I met a friend 3 or 4 weeks ago.

I saw her sitting by herself and the dad part of me (even though I’m not a dad) took over so I approached her and asked if she was alright.

She said she was alright and that her friend had gone to the bathroom. I asked if I could sit with her. She obliged, and we spent the next couple hours talking life, anxieties, and other assorted things.

Cut to this past weekend.

She asked if I could drive her and her friend up to where her other friends were camping. I obliged (partly because I’m always willing to help a friend and partly because I wanted to see her again) and drove my friend and her friend up to Ocala, FL to join her friends for a camping trip. During the trip up the conversation was flowing and it somehow landed on psychosis and perception vs reality (which is firmly in my wheelhouse of topics). We discussed those topics for a while and she mentioned a book about psychosis which lead to a discussion about reality and I had a book in mind ready to state when she stated it (it being “The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat” by Oliver Sacks) and all I could say was “That’s the book I’ve was gonna say.”

After a quick break to figure out logistics, we headed back out and covered the remaining miles in around 30 minutes.

A drop off point was established so I drove to that point, dropped my friends off, hugged my friend I met at the bar and shook hands with her friend, and started to head home.

As I was heading out of the strip mall and back onto the main road I felt a squeeze in my chest.

I knew it was a sad feeling, though it took me about 30 minutes to place why I was feeling the squeeze.

At first I thought it might be a bit of guilt because I left my puppy alone on a Saturday afternoon. But that thought quickly resolved into “I took her to a dog park for the first time this morning. I’m sure she’s recovering.” But the more I felt it, the less I thought it was about my puppy.

Then I thought about my friend…. who is leaving the country in less than 2 weeks… and whom I just drove to Ocala, FL (with friend in tow) whilst discussing topics I love and agreeing on all of our points.

And this is where I thought of the phrase ‘kindred spirits’.

“Kindred spirits” being defined (because I love to work off definitions) as “having the same belief, attitude, or feeling”. I feel we could talk for hours multiple times a week and not get bored or cease learning from and about each other. 

To my friend whom I’m referencing, I am saying this in a strictly platonic way. I love you and if I don’t see you before Friday, I’ll see you then 🙂

I hope your week goes well,

Marshall