“Well, that is just the way it has always been…”
Chances are that at some point in your life you’ve heard that phrase as an explanation for the way things are. The problem with that reason is two-fold:
1. It doesn’t actually explain anything and
2. It doesn’t allow for any growth.
Lack of Explanation
Just because it has always been that way, doesn’t mean it needs to be that way now. I’m not talking about Church teachings here, but life situations in general. Unless you can come up with solid, logical reasons that we should keep things the way they are, “that is just the way it has always been” isn’t a sufficient reason.
For example, for as long as I can remember, a priest always wears a purple stole when he is hearing confessions. That is just the way it has always been. But when you look at the history behind it, the symbolism of the color purple and its association with penance, we see that there are solid, grounded reasons that priest’s wear purple stoles as opposed to neon green ones in the confessional.
Let’s say that Larry, Mo, and Curly are the people at your office who always make the decisions because that is just the way it has always been. So what? Are they qualified? Do they make good decisions? If we simply accept “the way it has always been” as a reason for continuing to trust Larry, Mo, and Curly, then we fail to critically evaluate their effectiveness. We stunt our opportunity for growth. Instead of allowing other people to have input or be a part of the group, we alienate one another and severely limit our ability to grow and move forward.
Sometimes “the way it has always been” is that way for a reason. But, if we fail to understand those reasons, and if we fail to critically evaluate why it has always been that way, then we close ourselves off to deeper knowledge, and to growth.