Written by Emma Jones
Sometimes, I think, tradition is a good thing.
Take social clubs for example. We have a lot of really old clubs on this campus with traditions for club week, queening or beauxing, or functions that have been around for quite a while.
The Harding community loves to make traditions. Some are silly, some are serious and some are just really weird. But from clubs, to study abroad groups, to organizations and even to the Front Lawn (three swings and a ring, anyone?), there are many different traditions to be found here on campus.
However, some of these traditions, in recent years, have been frowned upon or stopped entirely because the tradition was something harmful or mean-spirited or served no real purpose. Traditions are good ways of building purpose and relationships around clubs, but can also do more harm than good if carried out the wrong way or if they’re born from the wrong intentions.
One thing I love about Knights, the club I’m a queen for, is how our traditions seem to all hold meaning. No, I’m not going to spill any secrets about our club week (though I know you’re all dying to know) but just know that it is very thought out, and every tradition serves a different purpose of making new members form a bond with each other and to the club. Another tradition we do — or rather, purposely don’t do — is not participating in Spring Sing. Out of respect for Harrison Waldron, who directed the 2014 show that swept in every category and who was involved in a terrible accident not long after, we decided to never participate as a club in Spring Sing again. A timely example, but a tradition that I really respect. (But seriously, go watch “Show Heard Round the World” on YouTube. It will give you chills.)
Another example of good tradition versus bad tradition can be found in the church itself. This previous weekend, I attended the Palm Sunday service at Trinity Episcopal Church with my fiancé. I loved how the service balanced between the strict step-by-step liturgical traditions of the Catholic Church and the different week-by-week sermons of the Church of Christ and other similar Protestant branches. While the Church of Christ is mindful and intentional in the few traditions it holds tight to — say, weekly communion — and the Catholic Church has clung to some of its traditions a little too tightly, I think it may be beneficial for our brand of Protestantism to learn more and occasionally participate in Christian traditions we don’t utilize in our own services but have historical significance. By better understanding other traditions of the church, we can better recognize the worth of the traditions we have decided to keep.
So this weekend, appreciate the traditions you are a part of — like Spring Sing, a Harding tradition that’s been happening for 49 years now. But come Easter services on Sunday, remember also to appreciate the significance of traditions that remind us of Christ’s resurrection.
There. A Knights to Spring Sing to Church comparison. And the haters said I couldn’t do it.