The Six Most Dangerous Words
"We've always done it this way". Possibly also the most ignorant six words. There seems to be this pattern of thinking that just because we've always _______, that we should continue to _______. You can plug in nearly any word there...eat preservatives, drink tap water, use toxic products, eat fast food and slushies, use tons of unnecessary (because some are!) medications, etc. Don't even get me started on all the times I've heard this in regards to parenting! "Well I always _____, and my kids turned out just fine!" Sorry, but "just fine" isn't exactly the quality of life that I'm shooting for, for neither myself nor my son. If one more person tries telling me their offspring have turned out perfectly, I might actually ramble off a list of things that prove otherwise off the top of my head. No one is freaking perfect. I mean, REALLY.
The one that really cracks me up the most is "I grew up drinking water from the hose all day!"...well, thank the sweet baby Jesus that tap water was much different 50 years ago than it is today! Lots of things are so much different than they were, even 20 years ago. Our food, our eating and exercise habits, our daily lives, technology, the toxins we are exposed to every day in our environment, the products we use, and even our medicines and vaccines. Yep, I just went there. You'll never know my son's vaccination status, because I'd hate to think your opinion could be swayed on that matter by what I or anyone else thinks. Everyone is different. Self-educate. Anyway, whether you are strongly pro- or anti- vaccines or somewhere in the middle, there is no denying that the vaccine schedule is NOT the same as it was just a short period of time ago, and it's still currently changing dramatically.
Just because your parents or grandparents or their friends grew up a certain way, were raised a certain way, were taught to believe a certain way, does that mean we should all follow suit? Hell NO. Isn't that the beauty of being grown-ass adults and developing our own personalities, beliefs, values, traditions, etc.? What if people never started thinking differently than they had always been taught? Racism, sexism, poor education, corrupt governments and organizations, unjust laws, freedom of religion, and so many other issues would still be SO MUCH worse today than they actually are.
Now, I am ALL for tried-and-true methods. If something truly is the best way, and that's been proven through history, then great! How do we really know what is best if we aren't even willing to think differently or explore different methods, though? When our decisions or choices are automatically assumed to be wrong or crazy, without any research on the nay-sayer's part, just because they are different? Back to the food example...if someone grew up on a diet heavy of milk, breads, cheese, chips, gravy, soda, and very few vegetables, they could very easily turn out "just fine". Who's to say they wouldn't have turned out to be "exceptional" in health, had they had a more balanced diet? It's all relative. When a certain way is all someone has known, sometimes they can't see that any other way could have been better. Science is a wonderful thing. There is more and more research done on nutrition, infant and child nutrition, child discipline, exercise methods, the effects of certain drugs on our brains and bodies, and mental health all the time, just as a few examples! We know better than to keep making the same mistakes of our parents and grandparents. Hopefully, by the time our kids are adults and parents, they'll be even better equipped to avoid the mistakes we will surely make.
Don't get stuck in the, "but we've always...". When you know better, it's simply your duty to do better.