Correction Burns

Change your direction . . . change your world!

NASA’s “Mission News” reported on February 8, 2011 that its Stardust spacecraft marked its 12th anniversary in space with a rocket burn to further refine its path in space. The half-minute trajectory correction maneuver adjusted the path with a blast that consumed 2.4 ounces of fuel and altered the spacecraft’s speed by 1.3 miles per hour. The spacecraft had already traveled 3.5 billion miles since its launch. That’s just amazing!

Even when they send a rocket to the moon, NASA knows the rocket will eventually get a little off course because of the extenuating space factors. The first set of guidance instructions will need to be enhanced and reaffirmed. Journeys just don’t always go as planned. There will always be need for mid-flight correction burns in order to reach the ultimate destination. The tricky part comes in the recalculating the correction burn from your incorrect position. No one will argue the necessity of getting back on track, but how many ounces of fuel will it take, what new angle will be required, and what new speed will be necessary?

As a cultural economist, I concern myself with the flight path of cultures and civilizations. Guess what! Cultures and civilizations spend a lot of time traveling off course. Likewise, the tricky part comes in recognizing and recalculating the correction burn from the acquired incorrect position. First, there must be the recognition that the flight is off course. Next, there must be the decision to do something about the problem. Then, someone has to make a volitional choice to set a correctional plan into action.

I find it an interesting phenomenon, when dealing with the flight path of cultures and civilizations, that humans have a unique capacity. They can choose to invite and develop excellence of character into their own personal lives. Then, based on that character they can become involved in initiating attitudes and actions of kindness, generosity, fairness, sympathy, personal responsibility, virtue, justice, and wisdom through their conduct. The genuine initiating and promoting of those attitudes and actions is what we call “goodness.”

“Goodness” is the correction mechanism for cultures and civilizations. Goodness is an individual as well as a collective decision. When individuals choose to become involved in “goodness,” they become change agents. Change agents are the human mechanisms assigned to cultures to effectively alter the trajectory path and help maneuver the culture back on course.

I have observed that “goodness” is contagious, and in fact, becomes exponential in growth. Over the past 25 years individuals have been gathering around the humanitarian organization called Project C.U.R.E. There are now about 15,000 volunteers who have discovered the organization as an encouraging avenue for them to express their attitudes and actions of “goodness.” There, they can get involved in delivering help and hope into some 125 needy countries around the world. Their efforts have saved the lives of literally thousands of moms, dads and kids in foreign venues.

Those Project C.U.R.E. volunteers are verifiable “change agents” who are helping to alter the flight path of civility. They recognized that the global flight of culture was off course. Next, they made a monumental decision to do something about the problem. Then, they made a volitional choice to set into action a correctional plan of “goodness.”

Project C.U.R.E. endeavored to figure out how many ounces of fuel it would take, what new angle would be required, and what new speed would be necessary to alter the trajectory by implementing a planned correction burn of “goodness.” And now, along with the small army of dedicated volunteers, Project C.U.R.E. has changed the health care delivery practices of thousands of hospitals in over 100 countries.

Our present world urgently needs a correction burn of goodness right now! We can be a part of an exciting cultural transformation. We can change our direction . . . we can change our world!