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Fixin' Healthcare

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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