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Tradition vs. innovation: which way to go?

Nahla Benslama's picture

We are all aware of the big place that technology occupies in our lives. If you’re not, then just take a quick look at the way technology is shaping your home, your car, your mobile phone, etc. Technology is everywhere! With the huge development of technology, a parallel movement toward innovation in the different economic and social fields is underway. How does this reconcile with tradition? I believe that tradition implies a dependency on long-established values and a strong attachment to the past. However, I think that today people are more tempted to transgress the laws of tradition and authority, in order to create some freshness and diversity in their lives through modernization. You may tell me that people tend to resist change and therefore will stick to their traditions. But since innovation is also synonym of progress, people should see it as an opportunity, not a threat. This is why I think that traditions should leave the floor to innovation, in favor of an up-to-date environment promoting modernization and advanced technologies. If you’re not yet convinced, I suggest you to reflect on the following arguments:

  • Innovation against oppression

Innovation sets people free from the restrictions of traditions, as diversification releases them from the oppression and despotism of “traditionalists,” who are against any kind of newness and govern people’s mentality by inculcating them with outdated concepts of ethical and religious values, and attacking innovation, especially regarding politics. Well, you should know that those “traditionalists” do not take into account people’s need to change and to remodel the old and traditional ethics that they were always urged to respect. People want to introduce newness to the conformist definition of ethical values and concepts, so that they can get rid of the restrictions that have for long time oppressed their existence, and simultaneously follow the modernity of the advanced and upgraded world where they live.

  • Innovation for awareness

Did you know that the new technologies that go along with innovation and diversification have a good impact on your children? How..? Well, new technologies have many advantages children can benefit from, such as learning through the Internet. I believe that children have finally found an enjoyable way to learn about social and moral issues without calling upon the traditional methods of education which tend to be often—if not always—boring, unconstructive or simply unhelpful. I think that children now have the opportunity to discover and learn more about any confusing or controversial issue without being afraid of addressing taboos, with people unwilling or ashamed to discuss issues such as “sex” or religion.

  • Safe technology for a safe innovation

You may argue that new technologies are dangerous to children and have brought violence into society. Well, this may be true if technology is left unrestrained.  Everything has a safe and an unsafe side, but it is our responsibility to take the most of it (safe side) and disregard the worst of it (unsafe side). As long as each one of us can control and assess technology individually, this innovation tool will remain an important factor that contributes to our lives in a modern, safe and effective way. You may tell me again that new technologies harm tradition educational tools, such as books, and that children are subject to a violent and immoral influence. But, I will say that we should not blame new technologies for the danger or violence they may cause. Instead, we should encourage any aspect of new technology that can play a helpful and efficient role in our daily life. The point is, new technology can be very useful if people make good use of it and if they can ensure their children use it safely and not for bad and harmful habits such as plagiarism, or visiting inappropriate websites.

If you still disagree with me, then you at least cannot deny that we are living in a modern world calling for innovation and modernism, which pulls us toward a new vision of traditions; a vision which respects our traditional spirit but which concurrently supports newness and modernity, and promotes making the most of the “safe” side of advanced technologies. In such a way, you and I will be able to redefine our existence in a modern pattern without taking the risk of losing our real identity.



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