What better way to spend Friday than eating Fish?

Every Friday I look forward to a Friday night fish fry. Ever since I was a little kid, Friday night meant fish. Of course, this was because I grew up in an Italian Catholic family and we could not eat meat on Friday. One might think I would grow up to hate fish but instead I have become so fond of fish that I eat all kinds of fish, cephalapods, crusteaceans, mollusks and other assorted phylum that swim and paddle in the lakes, oceans and waters covering the earth. I have never met a fish I did not like. Too fishy, has no place in my vocabulary. It is like saying beef is too steaky or ham is too porky.

It seems when we grow up, we either radically reject the traditions of our childhood or we embrace them with a passion that is beyond rational thought. Many people are surprised at my passion for fish. However, I have found other “passions” both embraced and rejected that I attribute to my growing up. Sometimes, when we do not recognize the history or etiology of our passions, they can rule and perhaps ruin our pleasure in life. Such as when we say “I always do it this way.” We can follow well established paths that can become ruts that blind us to new opportunities and new pleasures in life. Many times we can be chained by traditions but traditions are generally more visible and hence we are aware of them. Being aware gives us more opportunity to change our traditions if we so desire. However, subtle passions that grew from childhood are more deeply engrained and more difficult to change.

How often have you recognized a “Rule” or “Habit” that you follow because that was what you learned when you were growing up. “Haste makes waste.” “A stitch in time saves nine.” “The early bird catches the worm.” Many of these kinds of advice are helpful if not carried to extremes. The problem is they can become habits in our lives that become counterproductive because we take them to extremes. Thus we follow patterns of behavior that are rigid and inflexible. We become the character of our past rather the a character that is in process and shaped by the present.

Today, take a minute to reflect on the habits, manners and beliefs that guide your life. Which of these are helpful. Which are keeping you from moving forward in your life? How many of these spring from the rules and obligations of your childhood? Which of these will you change?

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