Survival induced individualism Individualist survival mindset Limiting effect of individual survivalism Debilitating personal contextual uncertainty Despairing individualism
Despite a general awareness world-wide of the need for the basic necessities of life before people are able to participate creatively in the communities of which they are a part, and moves by governments to provide for the basic needs of shelter, food and health services, families in many rural villages are still trapped in the pattern of survival existence. Long hours of work leave little time or energy for community activities, producing an attitude of "each person as an individual". This mindset prevents any creative community involvement which would benefit both the village and the individual families; and the development of mutual cooperation and understanding becomes slow and difficult.
An overriding sense of individual survivalism saps energy, limits aspirations and undermines broader motivation. In the economic realm, along with low incomes and unemployment, there is fatalistic uncertainty about job retention, welfare support, and the ability to compete successfully with people from other communities for jobs in one's own community or beyond. Another manifestation is the uncertainty of housing. There is an almost universal sense of transient or temporary residency, even among some who have been in a community for many years, with plans to move on when what seems to be a better opportunity arises. The high crime rate intensifies the sense of having to struggle to get along. The individual experiences his situation as so precarious that any relationship with other people is a threat to security, and it is a risk to suggest serious change. Community concerns are often spoken of but seldom resolved.
Until citizens are released from their immediate and individualistic style, no concerted effort toward reversing the deterioration of urban communities is possible.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
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