This I Believe

Ruzanna - Aurora, Colorado
Entered on October 17, 2006

This I Believe….

You jump out of bed and look out the window, small specks of glistening snowflakes trickle over the town. You quickly dash downstairs and peek under the tree. Is it that new lightening fast bike? Is it a cute, cuddly puppy with a big red bow?

Christmas, everyone’s favorite holiday of the year. Every year you celebrate this holiday, with a tree that flickers bright lights and is decorated with magical ornaments. What is the meaning of this holiday to you? Why do you celebrate this holiday? You celebrate it because it is part of your tradition, which your family has passed down for generations. I believe that the continuous flow of passing down tradition can help future generations to understand the ethics and morals by which people live.

Tradition is defined as the passing down of a culture from generation to generation. Even though we may not think of it much, tradition does play an important role in our everyday lives. Cultural practices is the only thing from the past that still and forever will live in the future. I know that ever since I was a young girl, tradition has been part of my life. Some of the holidays I remember celebrating as a young girl, are Hanukah and Passover. As a child I often found myself asking questions about the purpose and history of these holidays, and I was very eager to learn about our traditions. I soon learned that we celebrate Hanukah to remember the time when Jews were forbidden to be religiously active, therefore their city was wrecked. After the wreckage there was only enough oil to stay lit for a day, even though there should have been enough to stay lit for eight days. But with God’s help the little amount of oil stayed lit for eight continuous days, this is the miracle that Jews celebrate. Passover, another major holiday for Jews, is celebrated to remember the Jews departure from Egypt after many years of slavery. Such traditional holidays have brought me closer to my family and community and have taught me more about my culture and religion.

With every oncoming generation, it seems as thought the value of our traditional practices become less significant. More and more young adults take these unique practices for granted. There are countless teenagers who misinterpret why the holiday is being celebrated or don’t even know the meaning of the holiday. A good example of this is how people are more interested in the materialistic things they receive due to the holiday rather than why the holiday is acknowledged. Every kid would rather have a lightning fast bike, or that cute, cuddly puppy with a big red bow than sit down with their parents and talk about the meaning of Christmas. Is this how we pictured the generations to come to celebrate these significant festivals? I believe that we should not let ignorance consume our heritage. I believe that our pride for our culture should overpower ignorance. I believe that knowing about your customs should mold you into a better person, one that uses that knowledge to better the world.

This brings me to the idea of morals and how our traditions have an effect on our lives. Everything that has been taught to us about the differences between right and wrong comes from our religion and our culture. There are many diverse religions, but there are universal morals. We all know that stealing, shedding blood, and lying is immoral. We also know that one must be kind, one must respect their parents, and one must be truthful. When people believe in God or in some kind of divinity, they want to be closer to God by rejoicing their religious holidays or by prayer. Hence, they learn more about their customs and about the value of ethics. With this knowledge people all over the world become better human beings who pass down their tradition, their culture, and their morals to the next generation .

So whether you are Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, American, or Chinese your customs should never be forgotten because that is the single thing that defines who you are today and who you will become tomorrow.