Vitality, Driving Force, and Progress
Change starts slowly and moves in fits and starts before gaining momentum. The knowledge of life is not easily acquired or understood. However, it is necessary for life to be optimistic and ethical. Optimism affirms life as something possessing intrinsic value and stimulates the impulse to raise existence to the highest level of value within current capability. From this comes activity directed to the improvement of the living condition, which will be the wellspring of progress for individuals and society. (Albert Schweitzer, The Philosophy of Civilization)
Many tools and attitudes are available to characterize, pursue, and enhance the direction and pace of change but the essential element is the driving force. Civilizations rise and fall; cultures come and go depending upon the vitality of the driving force. The nature of the driving force reaches beyond the logical conclusions and theories required in the assessment of reality and extend into the spiritual realm of what might be and the ideals of life. Individuals conceive ideals and fit them to the realities of life as a basis for decision making. The vitality of the driving force for society is dependent upon whether the ideals of individuals aim at progress of the whole.