In Chapters 1 through 3, we said that action inquiry centers on a process of learning. This learning process is not a mechanistic, automated feedback process producing continuous change, but is instead a bumpy, discontinuous, sometimes upending, and transformational kind of learning. This learning affords individuals and organizations a widening and deepening of vision and new capacities for learning from single-, double-, and triple-loop feedback in the moment of action.
In Chapters 4 and 5, we began to illustrate this bumpy lifetime learning process. Virtually every person goes through several action-logic transformations during early life. We begin life in a stage we call the Impulsive action-logic, which we do not discuss in this book. The vast majority of us transform from the Impulsive action-logic to the Opportunist action-logic sometime between the ages of 3 and 6. A very large majority of us proceed to transform from Opportunist to Diplomat, usually between the ages of 12 and 16. A certain proportion of us transform to the Expert action-logic by the time we are 21. Many more of us do so during the decade after we join the workforce.
When the last of the sunlight goes, and shadows stretching from the shade of trees and bushes, long hedgerows, join up together to invade wild grasses and the flat pasture, turning from shadows into night, then the bees, scattered far and near, take notice, and start on their flight back to those walls and roofs they know, beehives where their small bodies rest between the dark and dawn; they go over the threshold, noisy, fast, massing in hundreds at the doors, and pour past into their close cells, cramming chambers and corridors while the last of the daylight fails: sleep silences the working hive and leaves it quiet as the grave.
For bees put no trust in the sky when storms come up with an east wind, and seldom venture far away from their stations when downpours impend: instead, they draw the water off and stick close to their city walls where any flights they take are brief; as the wind blows and the rain falls they steady themselves through turbulence by taking with them little stones
In addition to boosting your immune system and fighting off viruses, specific nutrients play an important role in your efforts to resist colds and flus. Vitamin C, N-acetylcysteine, and zinc are three nutrients you should know about. In this chapter, youll learn how these nutrients help to protect you, and how to use them effectively.
Vitamin C bathes every cell of the body and plays a key role in many vital bodily functions, including the health of the immune system. The scientific name, ascorbic acid, means without scurvy, referring to the disease caused by a deficiency of this essential vitamin. Scurvy is characterized by hemorraging of capillaries in the skin and weakening of bone and cartilage and is always fatal if left untreated. This painful disease often afflicted sailors on long voyages, who subsisted primarily on grains while at sea. In the mid-eighteenth century, vitamins had not yet been discovered, but people realized that eating fresh fruits and vegetables prevented scurvy. British sailors began taking along rations of limes, hence they became commonly known as limeys. In 1917, the specific protective substance in fruits and vegetables was identified as vitamin C.