After moving to New England a few years ago we came across a local tradition – Moxie. Moxie is a type of soda that many residents will admit is an acquired taste. Now sold in much more modern containers than the bottle shown above, it is a New England tradition.
It was originally called “Moxie Nerve Food” and was marketed as a patent medicine. The inventor claimed it contained a secret South American plant that could cure paralysis, “softening of the brain” and a host of other ailments.
It was a favorite of President Calvin Coolidge and Ted Williams of the Red Sox. Through clever advertising the term “moxie” has even entered the English language as a synonym for courage.
I think Moxie is a good example of how traditions evolve and it makes me think about other traditions, both family and cultural traditions. Sometimes traditions are good and strengthen our families and our lives. In our family these include things such as family prayer and scripture study. Some traditions are fun, but aren’t really essential, such as our family’s tradition of always changing into new pajamas before opening our gifts on Christmas Eve. Other traditions can be harmful, such as the family tradition of getting angry while driving.
Have you taken the time to reflect on which traditions are helping you and which are stunting your spiritual growth? Just because something has “always been done that way” doesn’t mean it’s the best way to do things. If it helps, continue it. If not, then tomorrow is a new day and there is no reason to continue harmful traditions.