“The readiness is all,” said Hamlet.
So we must be ready. Ready to meet that new thing, that innovation, that crazy idea, that new person…more than half-way.
Yes, we may be skeptical. Yes, as Polonius says (careful grandmotherly type that he may be)…we must try our friends well before we truly take them in. [See note below.] Also true, to some degree, for innovative ideas.
But first we must be open to them. We must take a risk. And try.
As many a Zen Master has tried to open many a student’s mind to satori.
This all comes to me by way of a new friend made last night, rather unexpectedly. Well, completely unexpectedly. We were forced together, to sit beside each other. Rather than sit in stony silence we talked. Exactly why or how it happened, I cannot explain. It was an amazing and far-reaching conversation, very satisfying on many levels. I let it happen. And in part because I had no expectations, I asked and said what I wanted to say at the moment… I was not trying to win or convince or do or accomplish anything. Occasionally I wished to be polite and kind. Mostly I had no goal, except to learn and discover.
Later, I was sad. Not sad to have had the conversation, but sad that it had ended.
I did not follow up well. The conversation started, the friendship kind of made, … But it may never happen again because I probably have lost contact. I was too polite.
This is true of our ideas about innovation as well. We must have the idea, and let it in. Also remember it, and then do something about it; follow-up. See if it will really work.
Note: The reference above is to the famous speech by Polonius to his son Laertes, which I have copied here. Polonius is of course proposing that his son be far more careful than I am suggesting in this post. I am suggesting more openness, more readiness. I am not proposing that we be careless, either.