All traditions have their roots in patterns. Human behaviour tends to follow patterns because people crave familiarity and feel comfortable when they can readily identify their environs and everything which surrounds them in their life. At the moment, to pick an entirely random example, almost everybody watches X Factor simply because almost everybody watches X Factor. The show has no merit, it just makes people crave what they can never have and it is basically exploitative and abusive (both of the contestants and the audience). Nonetheless, year after year people will tune in – even though they know that it will contain nothing new or imaginative and that it is essentially bad for them, sucking dry their imaginations and their souls – simply because it is an established pattern.
Likewise with almost everything else, though: some people will continue to vote Labour or Conservative all their lives because they or their family have always voted that way. Women (and men, for that matter) will often continue to seek out abusive relationships because it is what they have become used to. Abused children become abusive parents or members of the clergy, following a pattern by reversing it. People get locked into destructive sequences which they continue to repeat long after it has become clear that no good can ever come from them. Drug abuse merely becomes a cycle, just as smoking. Habits are almost always formed from the pursuit of comfort, which is really just laziness, but it’s the exactly the same mentality as BDSM addicts and alcoholics, continually abusing themselves and potentially destroying everything that they are in the pursuit of the one lethal high which they may never even actually achieve.
The destructive force of the pursuit of familiarity is far more subtle and pervasive than that, though: people’s lives become locked into patterns and sequences which mean that they are merely acting out a role, dancing to the music defined by a single track in an endlessly-spinning scratched disc. Thus many become slaves to their unfulfilling, soul-destroying jobs or now long-tedious lifestyles, effectively wasting each hour of their lives as surely as if they were sat watching re-runs of Only Fools and Horses, laughing not at the jokes any longer but merely at the memory of laughing at the jokes when they were fresh. Relationships, hobbies, drinking in the local, playing computer games – all of these things start out as interesting, vibrant experiences and just end up as ways to fill the time between now and death. That’s why it’s vital to always seek out opportunity, to do something new and exciting – sure, there’ll be an element of danger, but opting for safety is just an elaborate way of adding furnishings and cushions to the inside of the coffin where you’re laying prematurely, doing little more than awaiting the end.
Anyway, that’s all I have time to write at the moment; I have to get back to moderating a joke website and correcting other people’s spelling, punctuation and grammar.