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Dialogue #52

Inaction (Ken)

Metaphors: Mountain / Confronting obstacles / Keeping still / Acknowledging limits / Boundness


Social The effectiveness of action initiated by a dialogue is largely dependent on the equanimity with which it is able to assess what is required. A dialogue should be able to pause before action is required.

Sub-conditions:

1. By pausing before action has been initiated, the dialogue avoids mistakes although it runs the risk of irresoluteness. (Resulting in: Style).

2. By ceasing to act, the dialogue may avoid a disaster into which those it supports are drawn, without however being able to assist them. (Resulting in: Remedial action).

3. Enforced inaction will not induce in the dialogue the tranquillity required to envisage appropriate initiatives. (Resulting in: Deterioration).

4. The ability of the dialogue to restrain its impulsive responses is valuable, even through this does not prevent it from being perturbed by doubts and restlessness. (Resulting in: Marginality).

5. In contrast to occasional well-formulated statements, injudicious pronouncements by the dialogue can have regrettable consequences. (Resulting in: Development).

6. The dialogue may achieve a continuing quality of tranquillity from which it can respond appropriately to all demands made upon it. (Resulting in: Unpretentiousness).

Transformation sequence Inaction cannot continue indefinitely, thus at some stage development commences. (Resulting in: Development).


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

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