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Sustainable community #20

Recognition (Kuan)

Metaphors: Contemplation / Viewing / Careful observation


Social Through the effort it devotes to comprehending the significance underlying external events, a sustainable community acquires the power to apply that understanding to influence events. This power can be recognized by others, who may in turn be influenced by it to take the actions of the sustainable community as a model for their own.

Sub-conditions:

1. Whilst it is to be expected that some can only be superficially affected by a profound understanding of events, it is to be regretted when the sustainable community of superior values contents itself with a shallow, disconnected view of the forces prevailing in society as a whole. (Resulting in: Assistance).

2. Whilst for some it is sufficient to view the world from a subjectively limited standpoint, this narrowness is harmful in the case of the sustainable community which must take an active part in the affairs of the world. (Resulting in: Barrier dissolution).

3. When it focuses on recognition of its own nature and the effects it creates, this may be a basis for the sustainable community to determine whether or not it is developing. (Resulting in: Development).

4. The sustainable community should facilitate independent action by those who understand how it can be made to flourish. (Resulting in: Stagnation).

5. Self-evaluation by the sustainable community of superior values will only bring satisfaction when its effects are beneficial and free of mistakes. (Resulting in: Deterioration).

6. The sustainable community detached from mundane affairs will most benefit society when exploration of psycho-social processes brings recognition of how it may avoid being responsible for generating negative effects. (Resulting in: Solidarity).

Transformation sequence Recognition of the relationship between results engenders decisive integrative action. (Resulting in: Decisive action).


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Earlier version in 2nd edition of Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential (1986).

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