Tradition normally means time transcendence passed down from elder generation to younger generation. In the book “The Seventeen Traditions” written by Ralph Nader, Nader explains many different kinds of traditions learned from his parents and family. The central idea is that tradition enriches the human experiences and gives a value building one’s personality and character beyond power and money.
These days’ people are too busy to consider what is really important in their lives or what they live for. They only look for power and money. Sometimes they forget the most precious things that are actually bringing real happiness to them, such as they look for present entertainment rather than real enjoyment. Tradition could be one of navigation tool in one’s life, or criteria and mentors to help judgment on important problems of that person. People can look back at their past choices or behaviors, and compare with their real goal in their life through their own value. For these causes, I think Nader wrote this book and wants to lead audiences or readers to changes in their idea of life through some suggestions from many kinds of tradition learned from his parents. Also Nader’s purpose of writing this book could be an educational guide for young parents who have no experience to raise their children. Traditions for people are usually passed down from their parents or grandparents, and they make people have been used to some attitudes, knowledge, and custom or beliefs that they think precious. Nader explains more specific characteristics of traditions: the tradition of listening, the tradition of the family table, the tradition of simple enjoyments, and the tradition of scarcity. Nader states that learning how to listen was the most important part of his parents’ education. His mother said to Nader and his sibling that listen more than you speak, and think before you speak. And I totally agree with what his mother said.
Today’s people are overtalking. People have a lot of information and knowledge, and they want to be recognized that they are knowledgeable. Sometimes I feel those people do not know how to listen, and they usually try to keep silence when I ask them to listen to me. As Nader states in this book, it is not good listening. It is kind of waiting to their turn or time to say. They can also learn something while conversations with other, but most people feel very difficult for it. This might result losing an opportunity to learn one of precious information or knowledge in their life. The tradition of listening is a key to success in marketing area. The winner among many companies is who most listen carefully to customers’ voice. From this listening, they can understand customers’ needs and wants and develop their goods or services. According to the tradition of the family table in Nader’s book, the family table is really good place where all family member talks to each other about what happened today. While having dinner together, parents understand what and how their children do and think; and children listen to their parents’ advices or experiences which can be really valuable things in their future. I think this is the real place where traditions are passed down to children from their parents, and communications are going on. In fact, important meetings between business people are usually placed at good quality restaurant rather than an office because they can relax and have more time to get to know each other while having dinner together.
Then, this table becomes the place where makes these people more close to each other, also leads meeting to successful results. Nader states that laughs come faster and last longer when people are with their family and friends. Today’s people are usually exposed to entertainment such as watching TV sitcom, rather than enjoyment such as having good time with their family. Watching funny TV program gives some fun, in fact, it is very instant. It cannot give happy and grateful memories lasted for long time in life. Enjoyment, however, gives very long lasting memory that can make smile anytime. In my experience, I have lived with my grandparents for almost 20years, and they really love to have the time to talk with their grandchild. I and my sister usually went to their room after supper, and heard many bedtime stories and their old experiences. In fact, there were always good lessons and important meaning. In my childhood, it had been kind of small enjoyment to me, but after growing up, I realized that these stories my grandparents told me have built my part of personality.
When I face to some problems, this small enjoyment always helps me to think a key of solution. I always appreciated to having the time that shared good humor and stories with my grandparents. As Nader’s parents emphasize saving and scarcity, my parents and grandparents educated me about importance of scarcity and modesty even my father’s high income. I believe that this thing is really important to business. After people get rich and powerful, they lose their modesty and forget their tough past. This results less productivity and creativity because they feel comfortable with their present; and problems are caused by this situation. Even though people are getting successful and recognized very well as their achievement, they should keep their mind as they have long way to go. Feeling scarcity helps to choose more sensible and wise way and protect from failure caused by unlimited greed. While reading this book, I am impressed by these points, and if Nader’s purpose is people to bring change in their life by reminding them of traditions learned from parents or past, then I believe it is very successful. Also, this book has very big advantage that these ideas contained in this book are very acceptable to variety area such as business, education and even all part of society.