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Sustainable policy #39

Obstruction (Chien)

Metaphors: Affliction


Social When faced with difficulties and obstacles to the achievement of its intentions, a sustainable policy cycle of superior values searches for errors in the assumptions underlying its initiative, thus creating the opportunity for its own further development.

Sub-conditions:

1. The sustainable policy cycle, when faced with obstacles, should retreat temporarily in anticipation of a more appropriate occasion for action. (Resulting in: Accomplishment).

2. When its obligations so dictate, the sustainable policy cycle should attack the obstacle directly rather than seeking ways to circumvent it. (Resulting in: Basic need).

3. If the sustainable policy cycle has others dependent upon it, whose existence would be endangered by its failure, it is preferable for it to avoid tackling the obstacle. (Resulting in: Solidarity).

4. It is preferable for the sustainable policy cycle to avoid hasty action against an obstacle in order to gather support and make adequate preparations. (Resulting in: Influence).

5. Despite the importance of the obstruction, if the sustainable policy cycle is totally committed to the task it will attract collaborators with whom success may be achieved. (Resulting in: Unpretentiousness).

6. If a sustainable policy cycle no longer concerned with mundane affairs is faced with obstructions, it can through its experience and insight bring about a solution of special significance, rather than vainly attempting to avoid the issue. (Resulting in: Development).

Transformation sequence Obstructions cannot persist indefinitely, thus eventually liberation is achieved. (Resulting in: Liberation).


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

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