Facing curses of modernity, it is probable that you have encountered people that have a binary way of labeling actions or events as something is either rational or irrational to do. And when you dig deeper into their criteria of what is irrational, you realize that the person thinks that he/she is emancipated by regarding tradition and social values as something that does not make sense.
For instance, such people regard tradition as a set of facts that you either accept or not. For them, individuality requires you to disregard tradition, culture or religion. It is a mindset where you deconstruct everything about any kind of traditional society. You abandon culture, you abandon religion, you abandon family traditions… and become a totally rootless person. And what does your culture become? What does someone become when they abandon their traditions? People identify with utterly insignificant things and behaviors whilst thinking that their individuality stands out when one is “freed” from his/her roots. People identify with the music they listen to in high school; people identify with the diets that they do; people identify with ideologies…
As an example, such person would regard the tradition of carpentry as something “illogical”, therefore an “irrational” set of rules. This person would argue that you can become a carpenter by “rationally” following instructions in online tutorials or guidebooks. However, it is questionable if this so-called rational way of becoming a carpenter is the same as adopting the carpentry tradition; embracing its art; acknowledging the amount of practice it requires to be considered a carpenter; knowing that carpentry is both a mean and an end.
Even though choosing to become a rootless person, choosing to identify yourself with your diet etc. may lead a person into regarding one’s self as exotic, when looked in a longer term perspective you would realize that as the years pass, comparing the development of the rootless person and the person of tradition, one would flourish into a meaningful living, understanding life and values, while the other is lost in his/her mindset of finding a logic in what is shown to his/her face.
Personally, I like both rootlessness and tradition. Seems to me like you can experience both ways of living if you avoid getting too attached to either one.
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Extremes should always be avoided indeed. Having a binary view of being either completely rootless or wholly being attached to traditions does not in any way contribute to human flourishing.
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I think we can agree on that.
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