THERE’S no doubt that if we want to survive in our
increasingly complicated times, we need to be flexible, adaptive,
versatile and innovative. This should be our constant mindset. We
should not get stuck with the modes and ways of the past that while
helpful in their own time, may be impractical today.
Just the same, we neither should just discard the things
of the past in an indiscriminating way. That would lead us to a lot of
dangers. We have to know what in them are still useful, because the
new things just cannot arise out of thin air.
The innovations can only come out from the ground of the
past. They bud and flower from the rich soil of our traditions and
especially of the absolute truths of our faith and morals that serve
as the ultimate criteria of what are deemed good in our innovations.
Yes, we need to be innovative always, but of the kind that
is organic, knowing how to blend the old and the new. It’s good that
we develop the skill of thinking out of the box, but neither should we
forget the things of the past that can serve as the launching pad for
the new things.
For sure, we need some structure—like a daily schedule or
plan of action, etc.—to facilitate our innovations. We just have to
remember that we also should not be too schedule-or plan-bound because
surprises can come anytime and we have to be quick to make adjustments
Thus, we need to be prudent and discerning of things, and
especially of what the Holy Spirit is actually prompting us to do. We
should not forget that the Holy Spirit is always intervening in our
lives and that we need to be most sensitive to his promptings.
We may also have to do some consultations with the
appropriate persons. For this, we need to be humble and open-minded to
acknowledge our limitations and our need for help.
It also helps that we practice a certain degree of
restraint in our eagerness to innovate. We cannot deny that sometimes
we can be over-eager and we may have to exert extraordinary effort to
deny ourselves in some innovations that are clearly sinful.
In all this, we just have to be sport and game. We should
not be afraid to do some experiments and suffer some failures. As
someone said, if Plan A does not work, we still have a lot of letters
in the alphabet that we can use to continue with our experimentations.
We just have to learn how to begin and begin again. Our failures and
setbacks are actually good sources of precious lessons.
The important thing is that our motives are earnest and
sincere, founded ultimately on our love for God and for others, and
not just some personal interest. We may have to take some calculated
risks. They are unavoidable in the adventure of our life.
Of course, we need to pause from time to time to see how
things are going. Are we still on the right course? Are our motives
and intentions still pure, or are they slowly contaminated by egoistic
impulses? Is everything done really for the glory of God and for love
of the others, or is already driven by a me-first attitude? Are we
still humble and simple, keeping our right spiritual and supernatural
bearing, or are things deviating from that course?
It’s good that we be demanding in our self-examination so
that we don’t spoil what otherwise is a good initiative to be
innovative, and so that we can map out the relevant strategies to
pursue the ideal of organic innovations.