Sarah’s Diary Episode Thirty-One

What Jenny had hoped for was actually happening. Her class was seeing the multi-faceted nature of innovation. For years, the myth had existed that women were not innovators. In reality, women were never given credit for their innovations. In some cases, they were stolen from them. In other cases, they were denied access to the places where innovations could be taken public. She felt the class now understood this dimension. Now was the time to show another dimension.

“I hope you remember two things about Jacob: first, he was lazy and used his creativity to avoid work. Second, he was strong in his faith and was able to use that faith to calm others in times of need. Jacob decided to enter a seminary and pursue the life of a minister.”

“He was not a good seminarian. In fact, he rejected the ‘fire and brimstone’ approach to preaching espoused by the seminary. Jacob’s spiritual vision was much more joyful and uplifting than that of his teachers. He did enough to graduate and become a minister.”

“When Jacob began his ministerial duties at a small church, he was upset with all the duties he had to do. It was much more than preaching on Sunday. Even more troubling, he couldn’t find a way to avoid the tasks necessary to keep a church going. He really enjoyed developing his Sunday messages of hope. He also enjoyed being able to provide calm in the storm of people’s lives.”

“He changed his ministerial practice to one of being a travelling minister. He would go from community to community with a positive spiritual message. He also found that using humor in his messages was a great way to convey spiritual foundation of hope and not despair. In each community he would spend a few days delivering sermons but also providing spiritual counseling. This was more to his liking and a better use of his talent.”

“What was born out of Jacob’s laziness and spiritual calling was a new way to view religion. Messages of fire and brimstone were replaced with messages of hope, joy, and admiration. Jacob changed the face of religion and increased acceptance of the spiritual message that he thought to be critical to his faith.”

“But he did something else. He became a model for stand-up comics. We really didn’t have anything like stand-up comedy at the time. When people laughed at Jacob’s stories, a new form of entertainment was born. It was Jacob’s ability to find humor in everyday life that became the catalyst for making living more fun. We owe a lot to him for making living more enjoyable.”

“Now, think about dimensions of innovation portrayed in Jacob’s life story. We think of innovation as being the result of toil and effort, but can it arise in other ways?”

“Again, I’ll ask you, was Jacob an innovator?”

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“When I want to determine the best way to do a job, I ask my laziest employee.” – Henry Rutledge (plant manager)

How To Use

Useful guides for incorporating messages into discussion.