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Sustainable community #54

Elective affinity (Kuei Mei)

Metaphors: Marrying maiden / Converting maidenhood / Acceptance of imposition

Social As a complement to its formal relationships, a sustainable community may beneficially engage in integrative initiatives, based on spontaneously emergent sympathetic relations with others, provided that these are conducted with reserve and mutual respect.


1. The sustainable community may successfully wield influence through informal relationship with those in power, even though this relationship cannot be formally recognized. (Resulting in: Liberation).

2. The sustainable community can benefit by maintaining its loyalty to those in power, even though they no longer acknowledge some pre-existing informal relationships with them. (Resulting in: Crisis preparedness).

3. Frustrated by the lack of success of its formal initiatives, the sustainable community may enter into a constraining informal relationship which is not compatible with its assessment of its own value. (Resulting in: Power).

4. Out of respect for its principles, the sustainable community may beneficially delay establishing relationships until the appropriate opportunity occurs. (Resulting in: Initiative).

5. If the sustainable community originated in an influential context, it may enter into a beneficial relationship with others of more humble origins, provided it places itself at their service and does not draw attention to any fortuitous differences. (Resulting in: Elective affinity).

6. The sustainable community will not benefit from entering into a superficial relationship with others, especially if it is not based on shared respect for superior values. (Resulting in: Opposition).

Transformation sequence The establishment of elective affinities creates an environment favourable to general prosperity. (Resulting in: Prosperity).

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

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