We’ve often heard the term do no harm used when we think about doctors, medicine, or bioethics.
Do no harm focuses on non-maleficence, or not hurting or harming someone through neglect. Do no harm, as a maxim could be restated as “given an existing problem, it may be better not to do something, or even to do nothing than to risk causing more harm than good.”
Lately, technology companies are trying to use the term do no harm in their branding. I’ll write more about that in future posts.
For now, I’d like to just focus on our interactions and connections with others. This could be on an individual, local level. this could also be your interactions with others online…in networked social spaces.
There is harm that can occur in solely having a do no harm mindset.
We often only associate evil, or harm with bad intention. I believe that harm happen through apathy or neglect.
Instead of focusing on a do no harm mindset, I think we can strive for a more supportive agent of change in our interactions with others.
There’s a difference between do no harm and immersion, investing, and accompaniment.
Immersion is the act of dipping something in a substance, completely covering it. It might be something physical, such as plunging your body into water, or metaphorical, such as becoming totally immersed in a project.
Investing is the act of allocating resources with the expectation of a positive benefit or return in the future. It can include endowing others with authority or power.
Accompaniment is something that is supplementary to or complements something else. It is an addition (such as an ornament) intended to give completeness or symmetry to something.
Perhaps instead of simply living our own lives and trying to do no harm, we need to think more about walking with someone else and helping them build their muscles.
Photo by bruno neurath-wilson on Unsplash