For many years I was the guy who scoffed at ritual. I had no use for those practices which required participants to dress a certain way or assemble in a certain manner. Fortunately I have lived long enough to outgrow this resistance. What about you?
Through my travels I have witnessed the power which comes from ritual land pageantry; I have witness remarkable healings, and comfort which come from the predictable. There is also great comfort to be derived from knowing that at this time a certain thing will occur, and if I do this, the reaction will be that. We live in a world where things move so very fast, change is upon us before we know it. This is where ritual comes in, where pageantry has its place.
So much of the pageantry of religious practices, for instance, comes from a time before recorded history. We may have forgotten why we do things a certain way, but the power does not reside in the why, the power resides in the result. This is why when we revisit places we were forced to go, we find such great comfort in the consistency we experience.
Perhaps like you, I am not one to do things simply because I am told I should or must do those things, but when I get my control ego out of the way I often find that there are wonderful gifts in surrendering myself to customs I do not understand. This happened to me recently at a Shinto ceremony I attended. I did not understand a single word of the highly stylized pageantry going on around me, yet I walked away feeling I had been graced with a precious gift. There is nothing wrong with having an ego, until it blinds us from seeing the wonder of the world all around us.