5 Types of Action      PHILIA Dialogues   •   Involving All Neighbors
Geel Kolonie - City of "Fools"?



Catalytic Actions

Catalytic actions 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 for everyone.

Inhibiting Actions

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 lawsuit.

Inspiring Actions

Inspiring 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?

Liberating Actions

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.

Nurturing Actions

People and 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.

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