Bridgeway Partners Blog

Developing the awareness and will to make fundamental individual changes comes from thinking systemically. Developing the ability to implement these changes in service of the whole is a result of acting systemically.

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Good Intentions Are Not Enough

Lewis Thomas, the award-winning medical essayist, observed, “When you are confronted by any complex social system … with things about it that you’re dissatisfied with and anxious to fix, you cannot just step in and set about fixing with much hope of helping. This is one of the sore discouragements of our time.”

Consider the following headlines all based on true stories, which epitomize Thomas’s insight:

  • Shelters increase homelessness
  • Food aid increases starvation
  • Drug busts increase drug-related crime
  • Job training programs increase unemployment

 These stories share specific characteristics:

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