The Daily Stoic for August 25th, “Respect The Past, But Be Open To The Future”.
“Won’t you be walking in your predecessors’ footsteps? I surely will use the older path, but if I find a shorter and smoother way, I’ll blaze a trail there. The ones who pioneered these paths aren’t our masters, but our guides. Truth stands open to everyone, it hasn’t been monopolized.”
—SENECA, MORAL LETTERS, 33.11
We all like to think we are open-minded people, ready to accept any new ideas. The truth is, most of the times that’s not the case.
Everything that’s now accepted and considered conservative was probably groundbreaking sometime in the past. New ideas always find opposition and resistance until they are widely adopted. Then, they become the “normal” thing to do.
Respect The Past, But Be Open To The Future
When I was working as a government official, one of the things that would get on my nerves most was the fact that you couldn’t do anything differently. You were not there to think, you were there to obey, and do things as they’ve always been done. There was a marked trail, and you were supposed to follow it.
Looking back, that was one of the strongest reasons that made me quit my job. But it’s only natural. Big corporations and organizations work like that. Blaming them, or the people working there would not make much sense.
What makes sense is learning from that and keeping an open mind about future ideas. As I have mentioned before, I firmly believe that traveling to other countries, seeing other people and knowing other cultures help a lot.
Today’s Daily Stoic, “Respect The Past, But Be Open To The Future”, suggest us to keep an open mind to new ideas. I think it’s great advice. We all want to think we are super flexible, modern and accepting people, but sometimes we all stick to our own old habits.