“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” – Aristotle
Aristotle’s quote seems to best explain why the decision makers and agencies describe the recovery in positive and successful terms and many of the residents describe it as anything but positive and successful. The ‘whole’ – the wider Canterbury population, the workforce, the overall economy, the policies, the development of plans and programmes – do in fact show progress and recovery.
The ‘parts’ though can tell another story because that’s where the detail lies. The ‘parts’ are also the people – the individual families who are all experiencing their own personal ‘recovery’ with different timelines, different case managers, different settlements, different contractors, different damage, different environments and different stress levels. It is very hard to measure the success when we drill down to the individuals but this is the group we at CanCERN are most concerned about because they don’t yet feel part of the ‘whole’.
In this circumstance and at this this stage in the recovery, the ‘parts’ have to be seen as needing at least equal priority in terms of consideration, planning, measuring and achieving success. This group of struggling individuals have different issues and therefore we must ensure that recovery activities and processes target their needs to enable them to make progress or at least cope when their progress is so slow.
Kia Kaha Everyone.
The CanCERN Team