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.