Family — December 14, 2018
Every Friday, Tuffy fields a question that benefits from his worldly wisdom as #TheMostInterestingRhinoInTheWorld.
This week’s question is: “Every Friday, Tuffy fields a question that benefits from his worldly wisdom as #TheMostInterestingRhinoInTheWorld.
This week’s question is: “”Hey Tuffy, it’s the holiday season, and once again, I’ll be practicing the tradition of going back home to visit my folks, eating too much and feeling bad for stuffing myself. I actually love the whole tradition, but why *do* we practice traditions?”
Tuffy’s answer: “Hey man, you’ve hit me with a deep question, and I’m going to try my best to provide an adequate answer. I’ll start off by talking about my own experiences with tradition, since my family has a number of traditions of our own. Every year, my extended family gathers for three major holidays, and I have so much fun with my cousins, uncles, aunts and grandparents on the family farm. We share lots of happy moments, but there’s also no shortage of opportunities for me to learn and grow as an individual, and be shaped by the people I love so much. That’s one reason for tradition – it gives us something safe, steady and happy to rely on, and provides a clear lens to take on an increasingly complex and challenging world. Being able to rely on this stability allows us to develop our own unique identity and approach to life. Traditions are also great for creating memories and Instagrammable moments, like that one picture of Uncle Roger, his goats and the sleigh he modified to tether to his goats, teetering off the side of the roof of grandma’s barn (hey, I just took the photo, don’t ask me how it got there). For many people, traditions are a way of developing community, as it provides a reason to gather, share and enjoy activities related to that tradition. Examples include tailgating at Purdue’s home football games, or going Christmas caroling with my local youth group when I was young. The common thread that attracts people can be a religious belief, an ideology, a favorite sports team or band, a hobby, cars or an artistic pursuit, and it serves as the force that initially attracts us together, before allowing deeper and more meaningful relationships to grow more organically. That core is critical for developing community, as it is the nucleus that relationships revolve around. Without that core, there can be no community, and without community, life would be lonelier and less fun. Traditions can also be a way of stopping and taking a moment to take stock of where we are, and of being more contemplative than we ordinarily would be. That introspection can alter the traditions we practice, or help us form new ones, as the environment and the people around us change. These are all reasons why traditions exist, but my favorite reason for having traditions is pretty simple – they’re fun, and they make me and the people I share them with happy. As you practice your traditions, I hope that you enjoy as much happiness, my friend. “
TUFFY the Rhino is more than just the Armstrong Tire mascot. On the surface, TUFFY appears to be a tough, hardened character, and arguably there is “none tougher.” In fact, he’s really a softie at heart, charming folks wherever he goes – a gentleman, for sure, but one who would equally be at home blazing frontiers as he would be dancing the waltz at a grand soirée. Often referred to as “The most interesting rhino in the world,” TUFFY has traveled the world and made many appearances representing Armstrong Tire, from advertisements co-starring stars like Lucille Ball to being featured on many eBay listings. However, he remains a simple, Midwestern rhino at heart, one that’s rooted in empathy, humility, and family values.