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The Effect of Tradition on a Person’s Thoughts and Actions

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Tradition conforms individuals and represents a critical aspect in how society reacts to certain objectives. Many people tend to be so deep in the traditions being believed, that they are unable to determine wrong versus right. In “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, it is mentioned how the history of choosing a family for one of the members to be stoned has been so significant in many generations that great despair would come if stopped even when it is wrong. “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” by Ursula Le Guin, the child in the closet suffering for the rest even when it is wrong. Beliefs and traditions can be so strong that it overcomes the mind, to a point it is unable to make decisions based on one’s true opinion to differentiate good and bad.

Traditions and cultures should not have such a great effect in the way a person thinks and reacts, but to be served as a guidance at being able determine life, the function of it and the different aspects it attacks. The subconscious part of the brain works without awareness and active control. The part of the brain’s that is suppressed works with what was; meaning the beliefs, thoughts and actions that were already implanted from the awakened part of the brain. The heritage of culture is embedded into the mind, which makes an individual automatic thinking and decision system relates back into what their beliefs are. The subconscious plays a powerful part underneath the mind and tends to feel secure around familiar times and places. “Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay.” ― Jiddu Krishnamurti.

In the “Lottery” the people tended to act according to the beliefs that they already knew and was a dependent of. With the decision of choosing from what is right and wrong subconsciously with beliefs, out of fear the brain will react with a flight or fight response. It showed in the “lottery” that one of the characters Tessie Hutchinson although believing that the lottery was good and stood behind it. The subconscious mind out of fear of dying made her respond with flight or fight, to realize that this certain tradition held was wrong. Tradition may have great effects on the mind, but when it comes to surviving in most cases it is about risking it all. Culture can have strong holds and it requires great strength and mind for one to break away from. A person should be allowed to decide what they want to choose to take in from certain traditions.

In the “Ones who walk away from Omelas” the individuals who chose to walk away decided that instead of staying in a place where the tradition is wrong, went on to somewhere they think is best and is not supposed to be about one suffers for all. In a scenario of most being raised Christian, a lot of the people tend to not actually believe in God which is their choice. Being Christian means to choose to live life and make decisions according to that, while knowing that this certain tradition is not hurting another being for it to happen. Breaking away from traditions that are wrong does not mean cultural humility is not happening but choosing to believe that it does go toward what some individuals will stand for. Tradition should only be served as a guidance not a pressure to what people choose to believe in. The purpose of tradition was put in place centuries ago to help determine and letting people know the background in which they come from. Tradition and culture are lessons and beliefs that needs to be taught in a way to teach and suppress. There are so many different things in what an individual can choose to call tradition and it is not another person right to force what they believe in onto another being. In the “Ones who walk away from Omelas” the people that were there did not force the ones who chose to see the child to stay but instead let them be their own person and pick on whether to stay or leave.

Traditions and cultures should not have such a great effect in the way a person thinks and reacts, but to be served as a guidance at being able determine life, the function of it and the different aspects it attacks. Having a tradition can mean a lot of things for a person but to what extent. An individual should have the capability to review and understand the meaning of what they chose to believe in. The knowledge of traditions beforehand good or bad will reduce the amount of people that will decide to react and being able live life in that certain way.

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The Effect Of Tradition On A Person’s Thoughts And Actions. (2020, December 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 2, 2022, from
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