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Fixin' Healthcare

Monday, January 07, 2008

Truth or Dare

Truth is not a relative concept but it is a relative term. The truth is what is known and understood at a particular point in time. Does truth change? Yes, as additional knowledge is obtained and new understanding is derived. Truth is never intentionally inaccurate but it can be as misleading as a lie. Furthermore, it is possible to misuse the truth. Reliability of truth is dependent upon its source and the discrimination exercised in its use. Truth is a two way street requiring worthiness and trust. It is imperative that society create conditions to foster those qualities in individuals.

Cultural customs, traditions, moral codes, and scientific facts provide people footing, a source of balance, while reaching into the unknown attempting to achieve progress. The education that helps people achieve their state of worthiness is a shared responsibility of families and institutions of society. Each person in a society leads a life that serves as an example of whether and how they contribute to progress of the whole.

Life is a process of constant adjustment flowing from information, tempered by personal experience, and fueled by motivation. What, where, when, how, and why define any event, occurrence, or aspect of life. Knowledge of what, where, and when proceed how and why. To master each is to advance in levels of consciousness, and to master them all achieves a degree of wisdom and understanding that grants a brief view of a small segment of life. At best, it is the start from which to explore the future and distant points of interest. Success is measured for the individual and society in terms of health, happiness, and contribution to the value and meaning of life. More and more this depends upon a world view and life affirmation for all creatures. Ever present is the tension between conflicts of interest and progress of the whole, pride and humility, faith and reason, heart and mind, emotion and intellect.

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Friday, January 04, 2008

Decisions, Decisions

The constant state of flux and multiple pressures surrounding each individual make it difficult to characterize the relationship between society and individual members as normal or balanced. Many things differentiate people without intent to drive them apart. To the contrary, the prevailing existence for people throughout history is within groups and societies. Groups possess strengths that exceed the capabilities and capacity of any individual member and should reach beyond the sum total of all individual members, if the group is functioning well. Groups make it possible for individuals to develop and utilize their best talents but groups might not inspire individuals to noble purpose. Individuals can hide within groups and it is possible for any individual to contribute little to the needs of the group or other individuals.

Defining progress of the whole, establishing mileposts for progress, determination of which ideals of individuals contribute to progress, and identifying which individuals possess those ideals are seldom crystal clear. And, universal agreement on these matters is elusive. No blueprint exists to direct society toward progress but untold numbers of decisions transpire every minute, hour, and day that influence and determine this process. Dr. Schweitzer addressed that issue at a basic level when he observed that the final decision as to what the future of a society shall become depends not on how near the organization is to perfection, but on the degree of worthiness of its individual members (Albert Schweitzer, The Philosophy of Civilization, 1987 by Prometheus Books).

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