“If it’s not broke, don’t fix it!” “Why ruin a good thing?” We’ve heard this before. It encourages us to let go of our desire for perfection, but does it impede our progress at the same time? It’s easy to give up on something because we feel it can’t be helped, but what if we can help it. What if the answer to what vexes us more simple. Maybe it’s because that’s the way we’ve always done it.
Have you heard the story of the Christmas ham?
A daughter was helping her mom in the kitchen as she was preparing the ham for their Christmas dinner (which was probably going to be at 2:00 PM since southerners don’t really know that dinner is in the evening). The daughter observed her mom prepare the ham and season it and even adorn it with cloves. She also noticed her mother cut off a few inches of the ham on either side before putting it in the oven and tossing the ends of the ham into the trash. That’s when the daughter began asking questions about the cooking process. She asked, “Why did you cut off the ends of the ham?”
The mother calmly responded, “That’s the way we’ve always done it.”
The daughter, knowing not to waste food, pushed for more, “But WHY?”
Her mom responded, “Well, that’s what my mom has always done, and I do it her way. We can call and ask if you like.”
So call grandma they did. Excitedly, grandma picked up the phone to chat about Christmas, not expecting any cooking questions. “Hey, Mom,” her daughter began, “I was making the Christmas ham, and your granddaughter asked a great question. She wants to know why we always cut off the ends of the ham before baking it?”
Grandma thought for a minute and then began to laugh. Through her giggles she says, “Because my oven is too small, I have to cut the ends off the ham to make it fit.”
There’s a danger in doing things the same way we’ve always done it
So many years of wasted ham! It’s a pity. You see, there’s a danger in doing things the same way we’ve always done it. Sometimes it’s just a waste of ham, but sometimes there’s an outdated approach that’s in desperate need of an upgrade. If you have a question about the why, ask it! (Even if you have to dig a little.) Knowing why isn’t a bad thing. There could be a valid reason OR it could be time to rethink the way moving forward.