Building a great tradition is more
rewarding than simply having one.

J.R. Slaughter


Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay.

Jiddu Krishnamurti

Those who feel guilty contemplating "betraying" the tradition they love by acknowledging their disapproval of elements within it should reflect on the fact that the very tradition to which they are so loyal—the "eternal" tradition introduced to them in their youth—is in fact the evolved product of many adjustments firmly but delicately made by earlier lovers of the same tradition.

Daniel C. Dennett
Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon

When we respect our blood ancestors and our spiritual ancestors, we feel rooted. If we find ways to cherish and develop our spiritual heritage, we will avoid the kind of alienation that is destroying society, and we will become whole again. ... Learning to touch deeply the jewels of our own tradition will allow us to understand and appreciate the values of other traditions, and this will benefit everyone.

Thich Nhat Hanh
Living Buddha, Living Christ

Tradition does not mean a dead town; it does not mean that the living are dead but that the dead are alive. It means that it still matters what Penn did two hundred years ago or what Franklin did a hundred years ago; I never could feel in New York that it mattered what anybody did an hour ago.

G.K. Chesterton
What I Saw in America


Tradition is a guide and not a jailer.

W. Somerset Maugham


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Traditions are the guideposts driven deep into our subconscious minds.
The most powerful ones are those we can't even describe
and aren't even aware of.

Ellen Goodman


I decided this early on at Justice:  if the traditional way was the most
effective way of doing something, then we'd maintain it. But if it was not
functioning at optimum levels, we would be doing the country a disservice by
continuing to do things "like we've always done them."

John David Ashcroft


A tradition without intelligence is not worth having.

T.S. Eliot

Tradition is an explanation for acting without thinking.

Grace McGarvie

We don't want tradition. We want to live in the present and the only
history that is worth a tinker's dam is the history we make today.

Henry Ford


In actual fact, conventions are the death of real tradition as they are of all real life. They are parasites which attach themselves to the living organism of tradition and devour all its reality, turning it into a hollow formality.

Tradition is living and active, but convention is passive and dead. Tradition does not form us automatically: we have to work to understand it. Convention is accepted passively, as a matter of routine. Therefore, convention easily becomes an evasion of reality. It offers us only pretended ways of solving the problems of living - a system of gestures and formalities. Tradition really teaches us to live and shows us how to take full responsibility for our own lives. Thus tradition is often flatly opposed to what is ordinary, to what is mere routine. But convention, which is a mere repetition of familiar routines, follows the line of least resistance. One goes through an act, without trying to understand the meaning of it all, merely because everyone else does the same. Tradition, which is always old, is at the same time ever new because it is always reviving - born again in each new generation, to be lived and applied in a new and particular way. Convention is simply the ossification of social customs. The activities of conventional people are merely excuses for NOT acting in a more integrally human way. Tradition nourishes the life of the spirit; convention merely disguises its interior decay.

Thomas Merton
No Man Is an Island


The assumption must be that those who can see value only
in tradition, or versions of it, deny one's
ability to adapt to changing circumstances.

Stephen Bayley

The bird that would soar above the level plain of tradition
and prejudice must have strong wings.

Kate Chopin


The classical person is just a bundle of routine, ideas and tradition.
If you follow the classical pattern, you are understanding the routine,
the tradition, the shadow--you are not understanding yourself.

Bruce Lee


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Cultures grow on the vine of tradition.

Jonah Goldberg

I'd rather be at the end of a dying tradition which I admire
than at the beginning of a tradition which I deplore.

Margaret Drabble


Every tradition grows ever more venerable - the more remote
its origin, the more confused that origin is. The reverence
due to it increases from generation to generation. The
tradition finally becomes holy and inspires awe.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Often, the less there is to justify a traditional custom,
the harder it is to get rid of it.

Mark Twain

I love music passionately. And because I love it I try
to free it from barren traditions that stifle it.

Claude Debussy


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Tradition gives us a sense of solidarity and roots, a knowing
there are some things one can count on.

Gloria Gaither