I remember when I heard this story at the Native Leadership Institute and realized that it was truly a theoretical approach to the world we live in… before I continue.. The Story.
The newly wed couple stood in the kitchen only a few weeks after their nuptials. The gushing new husband watched googly eyed as his wife made him breakfast. He watched as she took the pack of sausage out of the fridge and continued to cut off a large amount off both ends and threw it away before placing it in the pan. “Wait, you just threw away so much sausage. Why did you cut off the ends?” “I don’t know.” She replied. “My mama always did it.” Though puzzled she continued. Weeks later he sat in the kitchen and watched as his mother-in-law gingerly cut large pieces from both ends of the sausage before putting it in the pan. “Why did you cut off the ends of that sausage?” He asked, yet again. “I don’t know.” She replied. “My mama always did it.”
He was bound and determined to find the truth behind this sausage cutting. Again, he was warranted with the opportunity to ask. He watched, ever so carefully, as his grandmother-in-law cut the ends of the sausage off before putting it in the pan. “HEY! Why do you cut the ends of the sausage off? It wastes so much!!”
“Well, when I first go married, I just didn’t have a pan that was big enough..”
As I look over my life I realize that I do so many things simply because others do them. Whether they be family members or friends. Daily we follow unspoken rules and rituals that have been passed down to us with no reason. Some out of necessity and some for pure tradition.
Think about it…
We are a society based on history. We love the idea of doing things because it is a family tradition or because our ancestors did it. But WHY did they do it?
Why, you may ask, would I question these things… We may or may not realize it but we live in an ever-changing world. We don’t need to cut the sausage anymore. We have bigger pans.
As youth and young adults we need to seek truth and meaning behind our actions. Use our elders while they are here. Question the traditions of your family and your culture. Find out why they are in place.
Go bigger. Question the traditions of our mainstream society. WHY do we do some of the things we do. Are they still necessary? Or are we maintaining traditions that are detrimental to our future and future generations?
Friends…begin this year with a plan, a goal… Question the Sausage.