“The most dangerous phrase in the language is, ‘We’ve always done it this way.’” — Grace Hopper
I’ve never heard this phrase so often as when I moved south of the Mason-Dixon.
Lots of people don’t like change. They find it frightening, as it stirs up all sorts of concerns about having to break from the comfort zone and experience the unfamiliar. Even worse, it threatens our sense of control.
That said, “We’ve always done it this way” has a rigidity to it, a stuck-ness, a clipping of vision’s wings. Think about the words, “Let’s try something different,” or, “I’m open to that,” or, my favorite, the simple “Why not?” These contain freedom and movement, anticipation and excitement.
Tradition certainly has its place as a graceful, charming, comforting part of our culture. And there are aspects of ourselves that are healthy to control. But when it comes to exploring beyond old boundaries, doing things differently, and having new adventures, I say: Why not?