No sensible person should dispute that rituals and customs are based on people’s faith in living a better life by doing certain things that may or may not have any solid, scientific basis. Most of us are used to performing rituals because of their immediate value in helping us keep a positive mind and boosting our morale.
Whereas customs help us have a regulated and disciplined life, rituals give us a psychological boost and we get ready for a better day through our positive behaviour and action. Some of us may or may not realise this.
Of course, there are so many rituals and customs that are surely not good for a civilised world. Such rituals and customs must go for the greater good of humanity. And those of us who don’t understand the difference between the good and the bad rituals need to be educated.
Over the years, education, social and religious movements have been able to do away with many such rituals. We are today much better off without them just the way we are better off with some others.
Advocating the use of rituals, American writer Corey Ann Haydu says that rituals and customs “don’t come out of nowhere, they come from something sacred and strange.” What it means is that for the believer, everything is strange and yet profoundly sacred.
And, very loosely speaking, our daily habits are nothing but a part of the rituals that we follow. As such, we can say these rituals make it sure for us that we get to lead a kind of life that is in direct proportion to the quality of our habits. Now, that sounds quite fantastic in the sense that you have within your power to control the quality of your habits that shape or reshape your life.
After all, most of us are, in a way, slaves to our habits. But, let us remind ourselves, that so long as our habits are good and positive, we need not bother a bit.
Courtesy: Hindustan Times
The writer is a New Delhi-based editor-at-large, columnist and professional speaker.