ARE YOU GUARDING A CONCRETE SLAB?
There was an army barrack that had on its duty roster 4 soldiers to guard a concrete slab at all times. The soldiers changed shifts guarding the slab for many years. Different Commanders came and went, the tradition continued. After years of observing the same tradition, a new Commander was assigned to the barrack. Amongst the things he did was asking why things were done the way they were. When he asked why soldiers were guarding the slab, he was told, “We have always done it this way. It is our tradition. Our previous Commanders instructed us to do that.” The new Commander was so curious about what he heard. He went to the archives to look for the answers and he came across a document that had the explanation. The document was very old; it had instructions written by one of the retired Commanders who had passed away. The new Commander learnt that over 80years ago, the barrack wanted to build a platform where events could be performed. When the concrete slab was laid, the wild animals walked over it at night before the slab could dry. The soldiers would have to fix the next morning, but when evening came, the same thing would happen. So the Commander ordered that 4 soldiers should guard the slab for 3weeks to allow it dry. The following week the Commander was transferred to another command and a new Commander was brought in. The new Commander found the routine and enforced it and every Commander that came after him maintained this routine until this new present Commander came on board. What an exercise in futility!
That is how many have been guarding a concrete slab in life because they want to maintain the tradition they met on ground. Traditions have enslaved us in many ways because we refuse to ask questions. Many have lost their sense of purpose on earth before of tradition. Many are dying in silence because of tradition. Many are drowning in the ocean of tradition. Many are wallowing in pains and agonies because of tradition. Many individuals have lost their identities in life because of tradition. I am not saying tradition is bad and we should not promote our tradition. But it should not be at the expense of individual core values. We should not be a slave to tradition. We should always ask the reasons behind every tradition or else we will be guarding a concrete slab throughout our lifetime.
January 04, 2018
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