Carvajal: Innovation

Break Point

THE secret to progress in the world is innovation. History is replete with examples of how innovations have moved the quality of man’s life to the next higher level.

Thus, one cannot even begin to imagine a world without the wheel, without the printing press or without today’s super small yet super powerful computers.

Christianity was also an innovation that later brightened the world during the dark ages. Yet at the moment, it is looking like Christianity, Catholicism especially, had better innovate again if it is to help prevent man’s free fall towards self-destruction with his irresponsible exploitation of planet earth’s limited resources.

If the Philippines is not progressing it has to be because we are either not innovative or slow to adopt the innovation of others. I say we are both.

Our politics is disastrously “traditional.” Our economy is worlds away from being inclusive, what with land ownership and use being still essentially feudal. In the realm of culture our educational system is essentially still the rote system and the Catholic religion continues to be dominated by the religious ideas and ritual practices of the Spanish friars.

We are not innovative as a nation because thinking out of the box in our authoritarian society is stamped out as rebellion or sneered at as disrespect for the wisdom elders presume for themselves. Overbearing home, school, government and church leaders simply brook no opposition.

A living organism that is not growing (regenerating new cells or otherwise innovating) is dying. Without innovation a business enterprise dies; any organization (religious, educational, governmental) dies. Without innovation a country might not die, but it will definitely stagnate or move sideways like our country is doing.

The secret to progress is innovation. But for it to help in man’s progress it must come from true humans not from monsters in human form. True humans are those who out of respect and empathy for other humans refrain, as a matter of personal integrity, from using them to attain their selfish ends.

In my essay on educational reform I stressed that human values of integrity and respect for the rights of others are the foundation stones on which the student’s knowledge and skill structure should be built. Acquired knowledge and skill can be used for either evil or good depending on who wields them, monsters or humans.

What the Philippines needs is for our youth to grow in integrity and respect for other people’s rights and as such to innovate in politics, economics and culture (education and religion) for the good of the nation. Our present crop of leaders refuse to innovate because the status quo is the best way they can help themselves.


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