Rituals In Our Daily Lives

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Rituals are performed every minute of everyday. Religious, traditional, daily routines, the list goes on. But in fact, what is a ritual? It is defined as an established procedure for a religious or other rite; any practice or pattern of behavior regularly performed in a set manner. For some people, their rituals are a passageway into a new chapter in their life, for others it could be a way of relaxing after a hard week at work. Rituals play an important role in our lives, because sometimes they help establish a sense of normalcy that so many people yearn for, to feel like we belong, like if we go out with a group of friends weekly, they all feel like they belong because they were chosen to partake in an activity that is done routinely and with only certain people. Other times, people do them because they have to, or it is expected of them, like having a girl having a quincenera, a Mexican tradition where a girl’s 15th birthday is celebrated because it is the age where she becomes a woman. In preparation for this essay, I joined my stepfather, Bill, on his daily routine of picking up my brother from middle school. When I joined him in the car, I was greeted by a bemused expression, for he was accustomed to go alone. We drove along quietly for a few minutes, the only sound in the car was the soft humming of AC/DC’s song “Thunderstruck”. I glanced at the speedometer, and was a little annoyed when I found that we were going only 30 mph in a 40 mph zone. I asked him why he was going so slow, and he replied “Where’s the fire?”. I stayed silent but his response stayed with me. In a world where everything is so rushed, so moment by moment, it occurred to me that Bill liked to take his time and smell the roses, if you will. By the time we got to my brother’s school, there were still 20 minutes left until he got out. Bill parked the car, and turned off the engine. We

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