Uncooperative residents in community planning Non-cooperative community groups Community damage
While development in small communities requires a spirit of cooperation among families and groups in order to actually get things done, in many communities efforts are conducted in a fragmented way. People feel that it is necessary to be independent and so each family strives to exist without helping or being helped by other families. Communities are often organized along family and ethnic lines. Resentment and suspicion bred of unfamiliarity build up borders between families, neighbours and interest groupings, creating baffling networks of 'we's' and 'they's'. No common structure exists for objectifying misunderstanding.
Possible municipal improvements such as road surfacing, housing and recreation facilities, which necessitate a combined effort, are not pursued because individual citizens are unwilling to make personal contributions of time or money in such campaigns. Private owners restrict the use of park land. People with similar agricultural problems do not organize themselves to achieve their common objectives. Cases have been recorded where families without their own means of transport have been refused neighbours' cars in times of medical emergency. Children of different groups may never go to school together. Some families resent the greater income of other families. Party-line telephones are tied up for long periods of time, the resulting frustration being a measure of the depth of feelings involved in the whole issue of individual rights versus community cooperation.
Only when people in small communities find ways of working together towards their common good will their hopes for the future have a significant chance of success.
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.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
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