Last week, my students and I engaged in an open discussion on rituals and habits that how habits and rituals are different and sometimes we start considering some of our practices as rituals. While the conversation went further, one of my students asked ‘Sir, why certain habits become so important for some people that they start taking them as ritual?’ the question was valid at some points, however, I counter question him ‘Is it habits or the stories and feelings related to these habits which makes people to consider them as rituals?’ Throughout our life, whether we follow any religion or not, we involve with many rituals individually as well as communally. For example, holding hands before dinner or saying specific prayers before meal etc. These habits eventually become a sacred part of our lives and even pass on from generation to generations. The question is How Our simple Habits become a rite of passage for later life?
The same question was asked by an activist and tech enthusiast, Bob Stein who has long been in the vanguard: immersed in radical politics as a young man, he grew into one of the founding fathers of new media. He’s wondering what sorts of new rituals and traditions might emerge as society expands to include increasing numbers of people in their eighties and nineties.
Let’s review his talk on TEDx and expand our understanding of rituals and rite of passages in our lives