Being and doing, transformational considerations

Yesterday there was a comment that ended with a question on where to get started to become (to be) a justifiable PT. This is related to the third question I put forward for discussion about being and doing: What is the role of being and doing on transformation?

My reply to the comment ended with:

” To start to “do” you need a vision of what to “be”, then you start to “do”, and as you “do” you start to “become”……it is a work in progress”

“It is a work in progress” here has two meanings, both the idea of explicitly using the concepts of being and doing to transformation and what it means; and the process of being and doing in transformation in general.

To transform being (whether a person or a profession or society) requires recognition of what the person or profession or society currently is and what it wants to become. Included in the image of what to become includes what should be done (being entails doing). There is a need to plan. Doing what can be done, which will change being, which will increase what can be done, which will change being, and so on. All very idealistic, and the idea is not novel, it is just what a PT attempts to do with their patient. An examination is information that provides information on the state of being based on what can be done. An evaluation is a summary of the state of being juxtaposed to the hoped for state of being (goals) and probability of achieving that state of being (prognosis) and a plan to start doing whatever can be done that changes the state of being to allow for ever more capacity for doing and hence transformation of being.

This same process applies to a profession. With the profession it is the professionals that need to transform. For a professional to transform they need the same process that they put their patients through to done to them- examination, evaluation, plan (intervention). When doing this to your self we call it self assessing.

For the profession to transform society the same process needs to happen, albeit at a societal level (a bit more difficult).

The same process really follows for anything in your life. We self assess what we are (being), based on what we do; we consider what we would prefer to be and to do and we consider how to transform. Sometimes we take too drastic a step, other times too small, sometimes we do not identify the right aspect of being that needs to be addressed first which creeps in later to lead to failure. But we self assess and keep going.

Of course not thinking about being, what something is, or who you are, does not mean you are not something (not non being therefore being). You can always assess your being by considering what you are doing. If you have not thought about it (or the organization has not considered it) then the self perception of being and what is being done may not actually match. If I consider myself a “runner” but I never go “running” then when I eventually come around to thinking about it I may have to face the dilemma of living in a state of contradiction. All sorts of self help books and programs exist for basically aligning your state of being and doing - whether getting you to be who you want by doing, or to be happy with you who are based on what you are doing. But the basic idea is that not being happy is a state of inconsistency between desired being and actual being. But now I am getting too deep into what was intended to be a general discussion pointing out some rather obvious implications of being and doing.

To go back to where I started, the APTA Vision Statement for the Physical Therapy Profession is: “Transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience.” Reflecting on what I have written about being and doing, there is a lot to be done with this vision. Societal transformation is not easy, it is harder than individual transformation which is a challenge. With societal transformation there is the added complexity of numerous mental agents with differing opinions about what the current state of being is, and what the optimal state of being should be. To transform society as planned we have to be able to articulate the current state of being for the “human experience” at the societal level, and then the ideal, or at least hoped for state of being for human experience at the societal level. Then agreement and ability to provide the best transform process (what to do to change being).

So, being and doing, related, not always aligned, integrated for transformation and generalizable at several levels of reality. But at each level of reality the basic concepts are the same. Being and doing.

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