Society and Culture

—   Considering all of the guidelines and my/our holisticgoal, how do I/we feel about this action now?
Using the Guideline in a practical way
This guideline builds on the ‘ticks and crosses’ or ‘passes and fails’ you have allocated to all of the previous Guidelines.  Most of the previous guidelines have asked you what you think about the proposed action.  This guideline directly addresses your quality of life concerns and values, and asks you, “How do you feel?” about a particular action you are contemplating.




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This guideline goes to the heart of your being.  It asks you to consider how the actions you take affect the quality of your life.  In the pursuit of “progress” no consideration deserves more reflection, and typically, none gets less.  Public companies concentrate on shareholder response to management performance, small companies concentrate on financial survival, organisations and welfare groups on treating their focus problems (which often prove to be symptoms), politicians on the next election, and churches on saving souls.

Few of us stop long enough to notice that in our pursuit of progress we often shoot down our own dreams and the dreams of others.    On occasions this guideline has given people cause to reflect on the real value of certain traditions, habits or customs.  In some cases the answer has been confirmation of their worth, whilst in other cases the answer has been in their rejection, in favour of more appropriate behaviours and actions.  The guideline helps clarify and deepen your holisticgoal.


The nature of the test causes you to think again about the social consequences of your actions, and how you will (or may) effect the lives of those outside your immediate whole.  Pleasing everybody may seem an impossible task, but you can go a long way by embracing the holistic principle that the health of your particular interest is never distinct from the health of the greater whole.  This is in part a test of social consciousness.  It can, and it will, test your integrity.


Imagine you are a financial planner working with a client who has limited funds at her disposal, and who is seeking your advice as how best (ie most safely) to invest the funds.  You have conducted a profile of your client, and identified several avenues for investment, which would meet her income and growth needs.  You have given her these options, with a recommendation biased towards a particular fund manager, not because of the additional benefits to the client but because of the additional benefit the fund manager will give to you.  This investment will bring the total you have directed to the funds manager this year up to the point where you will receive a benefit in the form of a weeks’ all expense paid holiday to Hawaii for your family.


Will this action lead you towards “produce(ing) a profit from service to our clients in a manner which is known to be uncompromisingly ethical and relevant?”  Only you can judge, but judge you must!


Likewise, Real Estate agents who seek a sale at the ‘easiest’ price rather than the highest possible price within prevailing market limitations do their clients a disservice.  They have considered the situation from their point of view (a sale at any price) rather than from their client’s point of view, a sale at the highest possible price.


Consider the difficulties faced by a Bishop of a major Church when confronted with allegations that one of his associates may have been engaging in ‘improper’ behaviour on Church property, with children in the care and custody of the Church.  Imagine further that the Bishop has been advised by his insurers not to comment on the claim or to speak to the alleged victims, in case this was construed by others as his Church accepting liability for the alleged action, thereby exposing the Church to massive damages claims, and charges of criminal neglect.  


The first few testing guidelines may have supported such a decision.  Only the Bishop would be able to judge if taking no action because of legal and financial considerations actually moved both his Church and himself towards their holisticgoal, which may also have included the words, “produce(ing) a profit from service to our clients in a manner which is known to be uncompromisingly ethical and relevant?”


This test can impact decisions at all levels of society, from government to individuals.


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