TRADITION QUOTES

quotations about tradition

Tradition quote

Tradition: one of those words conservative people use as a shortcut to thinking.

WARREN ELLIS, Transmetropolitan, Vol. 4: The New Scum

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Cultures grow on the vine of tradition.

JONAH GOLDBERG, National Review Online, August 15, 2001

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Tradition is the illusion of permanence.

WOODY ALLEN, Deconstructing Harry

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The bird that would soar above the level plain of tradition and prejudice must have strong wings.

KATE CHOPIN, The Awakening

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All tradition is merely the past.

JIDDU KRISHNAMURTI, Krishnamurti to Himself

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Tradition may be good or bad.

NOAH WEBSTER, attributed, Day's Collacon

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No human being is so hide-bound by custom and tradition as your democratic savage; in no state of society consequently is progress so slow and difficult. The old notion that the savage is the freest of mankind is the reverse of the truth. He is a slave, not indeed to a visible master, but to the past, to the spirits of his dead forefathers, who haunt his steps from birth to death, and rule him with a rod of iron. What they did is the pattern of right, the unwritten law to which he yields a blind unquestioning obedience.

JAMES FRAZER, The Golden Bough

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Every heart that has beat strong and cheerfully has left a hopeful impulse behind it in the world, and bettered the tradition of mankind.

ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON, Virginibus Puerisque

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Every tradition grows ever more venerable -- the more remote its origin, the more confused that origin is. The reverence due to it increases from generation to generation. The tradition finally becomes holy and inspires awe.

FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE, Human, All Too Human

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Tags: Friedrich Nietzsche


As tradition is a gift of the Spirit, its trajectory moves in the right direction, although it has not arrived at its destination.

BRIAN D. MCLAREN, A Generous Orthodoxy

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Tradition is a process of debate over what links past, present, and future in a continuity that is meaningful and authoritative.

ZAREENA GREWAL, Islam Is a Foreign Country: American Muslims and the Global Crisis of Authority

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Sometimes tradition and habit are just that, comfortable excuses to leave things be, even when they are unjust and unworthy.

MATTHEW SCULLY, Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy

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The less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it.

MARK TWAIN, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

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Tags: Mark Twain


Learning to touch deeply the jewels of our own tradition will allow us to understand and appreciate the values of other traditions.

THICH NHAT HANH, Living Buddha, Living Christ

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Tradition is the glue that holds the whole mess together. It is the cornerstone of our free and democratic way of life. It is what allows disputes -- no matter how heated or personal -- to be resolved without violence. Absent a police state, tradition is the key to the survival of the rule of law. It keeps us closer to utopia than dystopia. Indeed, without respect for tradition, it is hard to imagine how either government or litigation as we know them would work.

IAN HOLLOWAY, "Tradition in form, change in substance", Canadian Lawyer Magazine, May 8, 2017

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Tradition, long conditioned thinking, can bring about a fixation, a concept that one readily accepts, perhaps not with a great deal of thought.

JIDDU KRISHNAMURTI, Krishnamurti to Himself

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Tradition, thou art for suckling children,
Thou art the enlivening milk for babes;
But no meat for men is in thee.

STEPHEN CRANE, The Black Riders and Other Lines

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I'd rather be at the end of a dying tradition, which I admire, than at the beginning of a tradition which I deplore.

MARGARET DRABBLE, attributed, The Situation of the Novel

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Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about.

G. K. CHESTERTON, "The Ethics of Elfland", Orthodoxy

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What an enormous camera-obscura magnifier is tradition! How a thing grows in the human memory, in the human imagination, when love, worship, and all that lies in the human heart, is there to encourage it; and in the darkness, in the entire ignorance, without date or document, no book, no Arundel marble, only here and there some dumb monumental cairn!

THOMAS CARLYLE, "Lectures on Heroes", Sartor Resartus

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