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Monday, November 12, 2012

Three Issues and the Ethic of Integrity and Resilience

In yesterday's Blog, I identified three major issues hardly, if at all, mentioned in the election campaign, which I think are paramount, relate ton one another, and include all other issues including those that were mentioned in the campaign.  I also indicated the underlying ethic behind these issues which I think is a choice that embodies both threat and opportunity for humanity.

Earlier in my examination of the ethic of integrity, I spoke about the choice between faith and belief, between the me/mine mentality and the together mentality, the holding in tension both personal self and communal other, past expressions and imagining the future, relationality over both absolutism and relativism, living and acting in the murkiness of changing reality.

Recently I read Andrew Zolli's book Resilience: Why Things Bounce Back.  He defines resilience as: 

continuity and recovery in the face of rapid change

A good working definition, particularly in an urban planning context, is: the ability to maintain core purpose, with integrity, under the widest variety of circumstances. More broadly, it’s the ability to recover, persist or even thrive amid disruption.

Among other things, resilient systems sense and respond to their own state and the state of the world around them, compensate or dynamically reorganize themselves in the face of novel shocks, decouple themselves from other fragile systems when necessary, fail gracefully, and have strong local self-sufficiency.

But we shouldn’t get too hung up on the specific language. Any definition will only ever be a first approximation, because there are countless kinds of systems, countless ways for them to be more or less resilient, and countless things for them to be resilient to.

Therefore resilience implies integrity and I think that integrity implies resilience and indeed is the primary path to resilience.  I will reflect much more on this.

Here for my own contemplation is a mind map of the three issues and the Ethic of Integrity and Resilience: