The ongoing activity on the banks and in the middle of the stream is balancing the dreams, needs, and demons of people living their stories. Institutions are the means for developing and stabilizing these activities. However, institutions are composed of people and managed by people. Herein lies the real conflict. Sonia Sotomayor in her book My Beloved World identifies the challenge. “Learning how to balance the needs of individuals with the no-less-real needs of an institution was an important lesson. It’s fine to be on the side of the little guy, but he too will ultimately suffer if the health and concerns of the greater body he belongs to are neglected.”
The ultimate test of institutional significance, and sustainability depends on the leadership of these organizations. When those responsible for the traditions, laws, and activities of these institutions are subject to the same life experiences as their constituents, balance is possible. When those making the laws are subject to the same laws, consequences protect the institution and those it serves. When those making the law have a different medical, pension, or life style than their constitutions – you can bank on failure!
“The great object of the institution of civil government is the improvement of those who are parties to the social compact.” John Quincy Adams