Inheriting traditions and building on them

The tragedy is when we think of traditions and rituals as givens that we have to comply with. We only look at the surface – what actions to be done, what formulas to be recited.

When I was younger and more naive, “breaking tradition” seemed to be sexier, fitting for the mindset of an angsty teenager seeking himself. But as I tried to hone my own writing skills and got to be more intimate with doing research, I realized the importance of reviewing and analyzing the context – the goal of literature and practice reviews.

Many times we see books in our favorite stores that use the same catchy buzzwords: grit, resilience, artificial intelligence, blockchain, NFTs, etc. But sometimes, these content are just fluff; or worse, they are well-disguised BS that is only written to “generate content” and “engage audiences”, without respect to the hard work of reflecting on an initial insight, validating it, then articulating it in its most meaningful version.

Honestly, tempering one’s idealism with pragmatism and realism seems like a being a “sell out” at first, but if we reflect on it, we are not supposed to live life taking extreme sides towards “-isms” that are being shoved our minds through the bytes we devour. In critical realism, we view the world as composed of structures, culture, and agency of humans interplaying with each other to produce phenomenon. No single person can radically change the conditions of life, and therefore, there needs to be respect and synergy between these structures, the cultural context, and the people who act with these entities to really have an authentic attempt towards change.

“Helping things happen” is such a profound message. Even if we look at basketball and the lens of the NBA, we may have glorified hero ball like how Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant played, but the best players of today’s generations “help things happen” by drawing the best out of teammates, started by Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki (and his remarkable 2011 championship), LeBron’s Magic-MJ hybrid, and Stephen Curry’s transcendent shooting and gravity.

It’s quite ironic for me that social media has made personalities and influencers more… haha, well, influential, but at the same time, our initial dreams for social media was to facilitate coordination, community, and connection, to help each other help things happen.

This has been a lengthy reflection, but our responsibility is to really carry the weight of our tradition, re-articulate its spirit, and modify those that go against longstanding morals and virtues due to the changing context. Isn’t this what a “living tradition” means?


Matthew 12:1-8. Something greater than the temple is here

[DAILY GOSPEL INSIGHTS AND REFLECTION FOR MANAGEMENT AND ORGANIZATION 196: JULY 15, 2022]

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