I went out with a friend for lunch a few weeks back and we went to a little hole in the wall BBQ place. We had a good time and the food was great.
While we were eating I noticed a bag of water hanging from the ceiling. I then looked around and saw another, then another and realized there were probably 20 or more in the restaurant. We both sat there trying to figure out the reason for this.
Here were some of our thoughts:
Fire protection system...
Emergency hot BBQ sauce relief packs...
Bad guy water balloons...
Poor waitress rewards…
I asked the waitress and she said they were there to frighten flies. Apparently flies do not like he reflections of light through the bags.
Wait just a second!
Why do they have such a huge fly problem?
What kind of BBQ did I just eat?
Are flies really scared of shinny objects?
Who figured this out?
Should I ever go back to this place?
I realized it was just a tradition - a strange one, but just a tradition.
Traditions are bad.
They make us stiff and they stifle creativity.
They force us into a mold that we don’t fit.
They make us do some crazy things, like hanging bags of water, wearing kilts (no offense to all my kilted friends), eat bugs, etc.
They cause us to focus on us rather than others.
Traditions are good (lot more here).
They carry on our heritage and keep family/business history alive.
They keep us connected to the past.
They keep us learning from the past.
They can help us develop good habits.
They can help draw our family together.
They keep us learning new ways from old ways.
They morph into better traditions as they grow.
They can make us laugh.
They can motivate us to move forward.
They align the past with the future.
They touch our hearts.
They keep us focused on others.
Told you there were more on this side...
Chose your traditions wisely. Some can be left alone to die, while others can be carried on for generations.
The best traditions impact people and are not just there to to check a tradition box.
The old adage “We’ve always done it this way.” is not a real good reason to keep doing it that way. Have traditions, but think them through and make sure they’re sensible and impacting, creating good memories and impact.
Lessons Learned: Traditions should help others and should make you grow.
Thoughts: What good traditions do you have? Any crazy ones?