Isolation, alienation, depression, indecision, & a lack of sureness in ourselves & the direction in which we & our lives are headed are so pandemic that many people have given up thinking that anything better is possible. The mere mention of any value or idea remotely utopian is scoffed at as unrealistic. Yet, if we are to go on, some elements of that utopian vision are necessary to sustain us. Without them, we are carrion to the vultures of doubt, self-abnegation, mindless allegiance to a failed status quo, & conformity to mediocrity & injustice.

If not a utopian vision, then what?—a vision of Hell? Hell, we already have that, or haven’t you heard or read the news lately: decreasing quality of life, more pollution, more hunger, more poverty, more homelessness, more conflicts, poorer diets & health, less funding of social programs, less security, less meaningful work? How can anyone be happy, or even content, with decreasing prospects for oneself & one’s children, whom we claim to love so much?

I’m asking a lot of questions, but that is precisely what few have been adept at doing. Know-nothing politicians claim they will take care of everything, just elect them, relax, & just go about your accustomed, disinterested, uninvolved, somnambulant routine. Once elected, they often create more problems than they solve, but come next election, there they are again, bright & smiling & pumping hands with the ever-ready hollow promises of a better future.

PrOvention is required. No, not prEvention, but prOvention, the creation of an environment where problems rarely arise because everyone’s needs are satisfied. Note: I said NEEDS, not wants or desires. (To understand it more fully, read about it in my website at http://stoskus.net/en/?page_id=624 or Google “John W. Burton-conflict mediator.”)

John W. Burton’s editor coined the word, which immediately sprang into the parlance of conflict mediators. In 1990 alone, Burton released 4 books on the subject, but not a single dictionary has deemed fit for the word to dwell midst its more established colleagues, which shows that there may be an institution more conservative than the schooling system—the field of dictionary publishing.