jueves, 21 de diciembre de 2017


Tradition keeps society together, if you act against it be sure is with a new positive value that may substitute the old and is widening limits without breaking structures too fast.
(Ibrahim S. Lerak, Notebook) 

Hay que estar contra de lo ya pensado, contra la tradición, de la que no se puede prescindir, pero en la que no se puede confiar.
(Karl Popper)

Lo que hoy es tradición un día fue novedad

Her Majesty called me. Was doubting on the usefulness of continuing with the traditional speech at the end of the year addressed to the kingdom. His question was if traditions are positive to the people.

I took an example of tradition to tell my view on it:

During a jousting in London in 1235 a horse of a Templar named Walter Le Brun was unshod. A farrier present in the public extempore sheared the horse. For this reason the farrier was granted the right to establish a blacksmith shop in the same place where the event occurred, against the payment to the crown of 6 horseshoes and their corresponding nails each year. 

No one knows today where the land is that eventually passed into the hands of the City; neither is it known when this happened, but every year the Crown demands from the City the payment of the rent. One day in August or maybe in September (I don't remember well), comes a Real commission presided over by the commander of the King and two judges who show wigs and diverse garments. The commander reads two documents written in an archaic French. There is a minute of silence and the city prosecutor comes forward carrying a sack from which he takes the six horseshoes and nails. First he puts them on the table and then he tells each other conscientiously. After having made the count the procurator returns to put horseshoes and nails in the sack and takes them back to Guildhall, the Town Hall of the City. The sack has been in the possession of the City for 500 years and every year the ceremony takes place without anyone knowing a year that this failed to happen.

Many things in our lives are done just by tradition. We tend to include traditions in our life routine to have some reference point. When we arrive to the moment of the tradition representation we feel we are as the other people, we are not unique and feel that we are in the right way. All the people can't be wrong. Being one more that does the conventional thing we reinforce our own attitude to life. How many people don't believe in Christmas but still send the good wishes? Following tradition gives us a cover of normality that we need to be accepted by the others.

Usually tradition corresponds to a norm that was established by reason and justice, but as circumstances change and only an empty content is in the act of tradition that is repeated by the force of habit then is convenient break the rule and change what is not only obsolete but dangerous due to the emptiness of mind it is producing. We should not stay to acts that have lost any significance to us. Is our responsibility to value what we have and decide if it has content for us or not. If not... why should we keep it?

Tolerate useless conventions, continue with empty traditions is only giving wings to ignorance in the same way as it is to look at the other side when our politicians tell nonsense or our schools teach falsehoods. The only exception to it is when the tradition has a positive role in society bringing up the fraternity between citizens and reminds about a common destiny. But this, again, is subject to the revision of content.

Her Majesty, as usual, didn't say anything looked at me and went to the traditional act of giving a speech full of good wishes to the country.

If it is an empty tradition or not only the future can tell.