Some words you see, some words you can hear.
This is my attempt to improve the society/societies I happen to live in (Japan, Romania, planet Earth, not necessarily in that order).
The kaizen (改善) concept is deeply rooted in the Japanese culture / society, so much so that it appears childish to attempt to explain it or to go about one’s business without using it. By contrast, in the rest of the world the concept is merely a buzzword used in management courses, usually describing a procedure for improving one’s business environment.
Ever since Plato, most of the “civilized” world has operated on the premise of cropping, trimming, editing and pulling the REAL world around us to fit the IDEAL world in our heads. Somebody stands up and defines that which is good or ideal (the FORM, the LAW), then we try to implement it in reality (the SUBSTANCE). It is time to recognize this approach as doomed by our own limitations as human beings evolved as a result of natural selection (meaning that nobody is a perfect being created, say, in the image of <introduce religious figurehead>).
The zen in kaizen is the GOOD, but it is preceded by kai (=change, reform) which links it to reality. Of course kaizen still operates on the ideal of GOOD as desirable, though this is not defined apriori but is rather aimed for asymptotically; if you’re weak in Math, this is supposed to mean that we will never reach the GOOD and can only get (infinitely) closer as a result of changing / reforming that which is BAD.
How do we do this? Through dialogues, naturally.