could also be considered homeopathic. They are the small actions
of ‘the right dose at the right time.’ When the timing and
dose are just right the effect is large. Such actions may trigger
a breakthrough in how people or communities view themselves. Our
systems of care often override timing or prescribe the same dose
These actions are
about avoiding or stopping certain behaviours. For example
boycotting a certain product or socially irresponsible corporation
are inhibiting actions. ‘Turn off the TV Week’ or ‘Buy
Nothing Day’ are other examples. Producing consumer guides and
rating systems promote inhibiting actions. In social services
stopping the use of terms like client and caseload could inhibit
the treatment of people as objects within the system.
The law can be an
inhibitor of action. While it clearly inhibits certain undesirable
behaviour. It can also inhibit desirable behaviour. For example,
people are afraid to help a stranger in need for fear of a
actions connect people to meaning. They remind us that there is
something larger than ourselves. Viewing art, writing or reading
poetry, engaging in dialogue and walking in a beautiful garden can
all be acts of inspiration. How can our systems of care inspire
both those giving and receiving care?
A liberating action
removes the obstacles that prevent people’s natural sociability.
Some of these obstacles can be legal, financial, psychological and
institutional. Our systems of caring have often unwittingly
created dependency on services. Creating individualized funding or
direct payments could be an example of a liberating action.
communities need daily nurturing to remain intrinsically at
their best. Nurturing actions consist of planning time and space
to make room for the small miracles of daily life.