G.K. Chesterton defined tradition as the democracy of the dead. Tradition is that which does not discriminate a man simply for the fact that he is no longer living. Tradition is the living voice of the past, which echoes down passages that are thousands of years long. Those voices that are most powerful and true will continue to echo down the years when weaker voices fall to whispers on the rock.
I think it is a cul-de-sac of human existence which makes life is too complicated to figure out as one goes along. Those in my generation were left to do just that. For fear of restricting our freedom, our fathers stopped our ears to the voices echoing down that long passageway of years. Was it fear of restricting our freedom, or something else?
The voices from the past continue to echo.
There is a passage in Melville's Moby Dick, which is at once beautiful and erroneous. There are many such passages in Moby Dick. Melville relates how some whales, after being killed, float while some others sink. The "sinkers" will arise after a few days and begin to attract carrion birds. Other sailors, seeing these birds, get the mistaken impression that the birds indicate shallows upon which ships would run aground. Guided by caution, they make note of these shallows upon their charts and these notes are copied to other charts by sailors from other vessels. Thus the error is perpetuated and other ships needlessly give these imaginary islands a wide berth. Melville ends, "There's orthodoxy!"
A respectable challenge, but one that fails to take responsibility for the freedom thus assumed.