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Sustainable policy #60

Limitation (Chieh)

Metaphors: Confused relations / Clarifying connections / Articulation

Social In order that its freedom of action may acquire significance, a sustainable policy cycle should operate under constraints that distinguish its activities from those of others. Limits should however be set upon limitation of this kind to prevent such discrimination from becoming unbearable to the sustainable policy cycle itself or to others.


1. Faced with insurmountable limitations, the sustainable policy cycle should forego action until an appropriate opportunity arises for a forceful initiative. (Resulting in: Persistence).

2. When the moment for action arises, the sustainable policy cycle should not hesitate in seizing the opportunity. (Resulting in: Initial difficulty).

3. If the sustainable policy cycle acts only in its self-interests, it may easily fail to recognize the need for the limits and restraints without which it will make regrettable mistakes. (Resulting in: Waiting).

4. The sustainable policy cycle avoids waste of its resources, and may achieve success, through working with limitations rather than against them. (Resulting in: Vitality).

5. If a sustainable policy cycle in a position of influence first imposes limitations upon its own action, its achievements under these conditions constitute an example to others who will then accept similar restrictions more readily. (Resulting in: Initiative).

6. Although imposition of excessive limitations may prove unbearable to the sustainable policy cycle and to others, such ruthlessness applied to itself may under certain circumstances be the only means for the sustainable policy cycle to uphold its principles. (Resulting in: Essential quality).

Transformation sequence Through limitation, dependence on essential quality is assured. (Resulting in: Essential quality).

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Earlier version in 2nd edition of Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential (1986).

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