The practice of consultation has been a theme of multiple posts on this blog. It is, obviously, a vital concept for governance, for it is the operating expression of justice in a way that empowers.
As the last post pointed out, a conception of governance that is informed by the principles of Oneness, Justice, and Power that were discussed in the last two posts, and that seeks to exercise a collective trusteeship over an interconnected and unified social body is dependent on effective consultation for collective decision-making. Society’s current models of dispute and debate, of interest group competition, of “us” and “them” mentalities are entirely inadequate to meet humanity’s challenges in an age of social interdependence.
Consultation, in the setting of governance, needs certain prerequisites. Those members of institutions must be sincere and systematic in seeking truth; they must be frank and loving when putting forth their views; they must be detached from their words, for once put forth, they belong to the whole group – to be altered, critiqued, discarded, or accepted. Unity is to be valued above opinions, for it is unity that leads unto truth. And diverse perspectives must be sought from all individuals, for a multi-faceted reality is illumined more by more insights – the minds of many is preferable to the minds of few. Their goal must be the well-being of all humanity; their means the application of spiritual principles and a spirit of fellowship with the community in which they serve. Finally, their mode of operation is a humble posture of learning, in which reflection on decisions made helps constantly improve and refine policies and their implementation. This reflection is not simply a judgement of “good” or “bad”, but rather, “what did we learn?”.
From these thoughts and from previous posts on consultation:
How can these qualities be nurtured in organizations and in the area of governance?
How can these mature approaches to collective decision-making inform relationships between and among individuals, communities, and institutions?