Untried and True?

If it has been around a long time, then it must be good, right? (Of course, if you have ever read my blog, then you can guess my answer is, “probably not”…)


I am not a fan of Daylight Savings Time and I share this post explaining why each year. It is an archaic, damaging tradition that has far outlived any usefulness it once provided to society or humanity, yet, curiously, we revel in it.

Even I will admit, despite my cognitive grasp of its non-utility, a little part of me becomes excited for longer summer days. Still, I would rather have stable hours (and moods) throughout the year–or even better–simply accurate timekeeping.

There are many things we believe or do simply because we have always believed or done them. I uncover my own assumptions or false beliefs all the time. It is astounding the things I have accepted as fact and internalized for large portions of my life without ever questioning the logic or origin of the tradition or belief.

Here are some off the cuff examples of things I believed simply because people told me they were true: Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy are real, I need eight hours of sleep, drinking milk does a body good, keeping quiet and working hard will help me do well in life, only book publishers can publish books, marriage is sacrosanct, eating meat is natural, college will make me smarter, and having kids and settling down is what I am supposed to do in my twenties or thirties.

Some things are so deeply ingrained that we do not even consider questioning them or holding them up to the smallest test of logic. I think my dad still believes if you take a warm shower (let’s say the water is 90 degrees) and then walk outside on a cool day (say, 40 degrees) with wet hair and bare feet, you are certain to catch a cold. Of course, if that were true, every kid that goes swimming in a 50 degree pool on a 100 degree day would go home with the flu. The difference in temperature is the same 50 degrees, yet this myth persists in my family and others.

In my book, Daylight Savings Time falls under the same category as other myths, half-truths, un-truths, plain deceptions, or outright blatant ignorance of reality. For some of us, change is much scarier than the alternative: growth.

It feels safer to sit still and hide under the covers when we believe there is a monster in the closet. Of course, there is never a monster in the closet and sitting still, scared, waiting to die would only make the monster’s job easier. When we have information about where the monsters are, it is better to take our new knowledge and run with it.


Today’s Lesson: Just because we believe for a long time that something is justified, correct, or true does not mean it is any of those.