By Abe Villarreal
In an era where traditions, practices, and everyday items seem to change as soon as we get used to them, I wonder why somethings can’t just stay the same.
Things like the song you hear when your beautiful bride is walking down the aisle, or the pomp and circumstance march as graduates arrive to receive their degrees. Those things shouldn’t change.
Things like the sound of a clipper in a barbershop, or the static in between radio channels. They are there somewhere in your subconscious. Those things shouldn’t change.
I like the sound of a bell ringing loudly, followed by the screams and laughter of kids on a playground. That shouldn’t change. Close your eyes and think of the everyday sounds and feelings you get from life’s happenings. The garbage truck pulling up, the lawnmower in action, the ice coming out of your fridge.
It is our human nature to take pride in progress. We want our lives to be better, quicker, safer; and with that yearning, we become less tolerant and bothered by what used to seem normal.
During a recent visit of the small-town carnival that sets up for a couple of weeks on an empty lot across the street from Wal-Mart, I realized that I like the things in life that take me back to the time of my parent’s youth. The carnival rides looked beat up and sounded rusty. The cotton candy was big and whimsical. The prizes were not worth what you paid to win them. All those things haven’t changed, and I like them.
Traditions are the glue that keeps communities, ethnicities, and religious groups together. We shouldn’t consider them backward; we should honor them. When a father walks a bride down the aisle, or a young lady waits for the man of her dreams, those are practices that are special, not archaic.
In our constant need for advancement, we have become impatient and unsatisfied. Today’s change is not enough. We need now what won’t be available until tomorrow. Sitting, waiting, and appreciating are lost practices.
Today’s generation, headphones on, and eyes down, don’t see the beauty of the present. What will future songwriters, filmmakers, and novelists create when existence happens in a blink of an eye?
How will they describe the sound of a pilot light turning on or the look of cinnamon rolls as they patiently rise in the oven? How will future readers be captivated by a story rich in details of sound and movement? The slow creak of an opening door. The cracking of dead leaves as you walk through a park on a fall day.
I like waiting in line on voting day and filling in the circles for my favorite candidates. I like listening to the sound of popcorn at the movie theater and trying to find my seat in the dark. I like picking up a newspaper and flipping through pages. I like experiencing what I’ve read about in stories.
Somethings shouldn’t change so we can remember why they exist, and we shouldn’t be bothered by them. Progress is good when tradition is not left behind.