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Sunday Story…We do things

Sunday Story…We do things

A certain way. It’s the way we have always done them. It works for us and may be the one true way(probably not). Sure there are other ways but ours is the best way. Anyone else just hasn’t gotten the message yet.

This sort of intractable position is very common. We often see it labeled as “tradition.” But tradition was once new and unusual and a change from what came before it.

I am reminded of an old story I call Grandma and the ham. When a youngster was in the kitchen learning how to cook with Mom one day, Mom was preparing a ham for the oven. She carefully cut the ends of the ham off and placed in the roasting pan. When asked why cut the ends of the ham off, Mom thought for a moment and answered, “I don’t really know but that’s the way my mother did it.” As most children will ask, the follow up question was but why did Grandma cut the ends of the ham off? A bit exasperated and harried Mom said why don’t we call Grandma and ask her! So the child called Grandma and asked the pressing question of why did the ends of the ham need to be cut off? And Grandma said “I don’t really know but that’s the way my mother did it.” Well now our super sleuthing child is really curious. Luckily Great Grandma is still around to answer the phone so the call gets made. Great grandma answered the phone and upon hearing the pressing question she chuckled and said, “oh that’s easy…my pan was too small!”

Generation of hams had the ends cut off simply because one pan was too small?! Far too often we are doing things for reasons unknown and when they become known aren’t really sound logical reasons. What they are is habitual and easy and comfortable. Why keep doing them if they really don’t serve any purpose other than habit? Is there a better way? Is there a different way that might serve a greater purpose? Or at least be more interesting?

Are you willing to look around and see what you are doing because “that’s the way we have always done it?” Are you willing to look at those habits objectively and choose a different or more interesting way? What might arise in your life if you examine and discard old patterns that are just there because the pan was too small? We all have them…And we all would be served by at least looking and deciding if we want to keep cutting the ends of the ham off!

John Mariotti

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