Moving Forward

If you didn’t know this already, we live in a weird place. How else can you explain why Mississippi voters embraced conservatives Donald Trump and Cindy Hyde-Smith–each won with almost 60% of the vote–but voted at roughly a 70% clip to change the state flag and legalize medical marijuana? Have Trump and Hyde-Smith supporters been smoking crooked cigarettes all this time? Our leaders must think something is awry. They’re already trying to figure out ways to circumvent 65.

Mississippi is redder than an Early Girl tomato on July 4. People in the state cherish traditions. We attend our parents’ churches. We hold doors open for each other. We love etiquette. Not shaking hands during the pandemic requires us to kick two centuries worth of social conditioning. In fact, anything new gets met, at least initially, with a resounding “No!”

Especially if the wrong people say “yes.”

I am curious, though: can people look to the past and still hope to reach their potential in the future? Do the people of Mississippi truly revere traditions–or do they simply fear change?

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9 Responses to Moving Forward

  1. Kareena Patel says:

    I think people are allowed to look in the past, but they should never dwell on it. By that, I mean the past should be a helpful tool where we improve for the future. I feel people in Mississippi want to respect the traditions but fail in doing so. Mississippi does not do well with change which is definitely a problem. Without change, there is no room for improvement. Without improvement, there is no room for growth. Basically, people of Mississippi are stubborn when it comes to change, creating more conflicts in the future. I believe they fear change mostly because they do not want to risk what they already have.

  2. Zaria Cooper says:

    Personally, I feel that everything in life will change at some point. Therefore, when it comes to looking to the past and trying to find hope for the future, it doesn’t make sense to me. Why keep doing things as you did in the past and going nowhere when you can actually grow and change the future. In addition, Mississippi people are both of these options, but I believe more people are fearful of change. Some people want things to stay exactly the way they are or only change a little. But in all actuality, for MS to grow as much as it needs to, it will take new mindsets and tradition-breaking leaders.

  3. Caleb Jenkins says:

    I believe that the people of Mississippi revere tradition as much as they do because of their great fear of change. They were raised in the ways that their parents were raised, and they raise their children the same way too. Any sign that a Mississippian wants to change something, or God forbid, make progress as a society, those loyal to the old ways view them as a traitor to their heritage and a radical trying to destroy their way of life. They have lived this way so long, they never bother to stop and consider if there is anything wrong with their way of life. It is possible, though, to revere tradition while also making progress for the better. The change in the Mississippi flag and the medical marijuana bill are indicative of this and serve as signs that Mississippians are willing to make progress.

  4. Dylan Griffith says:

    I believe the answer lies somewhere in the middle. To elaborate, Mississippians fear change because change involves altering revered traditions. While Mississippians can still glance at the past, they need not to stare at it. Moving forward involves reflecting on past mistakes and devising ways to resolve them so that the past can stay in the past. Changing the state flag and legalizing medical marijuana are steps in the right direction, but they are only baby steps in terms of changing Mississippians mindsets.

  5. Lauren Hood says:

    I do think that people can look to the past and still reach their potential. They should use it as a guide to grow and study history to prevent repeating their mistakes. I think tradition is an important part of Mississippi. It offers people a sense of comfort. Traditions add character as long as they are good things. I think that people in Mississippi revere tradition and fear change. For certain groups, it is evident that they fear change in the way that they treat newcomers. For most people in Mississippi though, it is obvious that they cherish traditions. This can be a good thing because some traditions are nice and provide a sense of home.

  6. Kelsei Harris says:

    I think that people can look into the past to see the mistakes that were made, and try to fix their actions so the same mistakes won’t happen in the future. The past should be a lesson, but I don’t think people should be stuck on past situations. There is nothing we can do but try to correct our actions and make the future better. I think that a lot of people in Mississippi are stuck in the traditions of the state. There are so many things, especially small things that people do and don’t realize it’s offensive or outdated. For example, my local drug store still closes early on Thursday and there are so many people who express hatred for people of other ethnicity or sexual orientation. I think that so many people in Mississippi are stuck in tradition because they fear the idea of change. They want things to be like they have been for years because they’re afraid of changes. Many are afraid of different people or express a pointless hatred for different political parties. Some traditions can be good, but I think we should get rid of the bad ones and prepare for change in Mississippi.

  7. Mason Pettit says:

    Mississippi shows a clear reverence and admiration for the past despite its controversial and often horrifying history. People still throw a tantrum any time we try to change anything even if its taking the name of a famed racist from an important building or removing the statue of a treasonous murderer from our streets. For some reason, people in Mississippi seem to want to celebrate history just because its history. This blind reverence for history in Mississippi leads to a fear of change which hinders the progress of our state, but does not ultimately stop us from reaching the full potential of our state. It provides another obstacle in the path, but it is not an insurmountable obstacle.

  8. Luke Bowles says:

    The people of Mississippi definitely revere the past. If not, people at my old high school wouldn’t fly confederate flags on the back of their trucks. Mostly, I think this reverence is due to ignorance. Because they are ignorant, they don’t really understand the past they are glorifying. Because they don’t understand the past, they don’t see how the past has caused our current problems. Therefore, their ignorance causes them to look towards other causes like “out-of-state liberals” and the “mainstream media.” This concoction makes a perfect recipe for a group of people that both glorify the past and are afraid of change.

  9. Scarlett Bedingfield says:

    I think that Mississippi’s intolerance and resistance of change are a result of both fear of reverence of tradition. The way that we do things can be comfortable and we simply don’t want to leave that comfort and familiarity. However, the world is changing all around us and Mississippi is so stuck in the past that it can’t evolve with it. Yes, I believe traditions are important. But never at the expense of other people, and that’s the price that Mississippians are either willing to pay or simply don’t care enough about in order to keep things the way they have always been.

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