Tuesday, November 29, 2016

What's the Problem?

It's been a while. Actually, it's been quite some time. Words just will not come for the Post that I really want to write. It's swimming around in my head somewhere. But I just cannot seem to spit it out. Maybe it will come. Maybe not. No doubt fear is providing the writer's block.

But, I heard a guy speak tonight. And I'm fairly certain that no sleep will come until I get this thought out of my head. It struck me hard. Kicked me right in the gut. Because he addressed one of my favorite topics. He was discussing problems. And boy oh boy, do I have problems!  I am on record in regard to my problems. I've even been known to rudely express in large groups, "I know you people think you got problems. But my shi....stuff is REAL!"

Anyway, here's what the dude had to say.......He described a conversation he was having with a trusted friend. He was listing all his problems. Joblessness, IRS debt, no transportation, a number of ex wives, kids that despised him. The list went on and on and on. Problems, problems, problems!

After he  had worn himself listing all his problems, his friend suggested, "Man, you don't have any problems. What you have are CONSEQUENCES!" The friend went on to encourage him to STOP trying to FIX the consequences and get real serious about FIXING the problem. And the problem was staring at him every morning as looked into the mirror to shave.

His talk went on for another half hour after that little nugget. But I heard very little of what he had left to say as my mind started racing applying this simple truth to all sorts of situations.... in my life, in your lives, and in the World in general!

My house's foundation certainly came to mind. Some of you are aware that we are just now on the back end of a major home renovation. It all started with the foundation. The situation was so bad that we had to move out of the house in order to install several piers inside the house. It may be one of the most traumatic experiences I've ever gone through. However, the foundation was not the problem. The foundation was a consequence of not maintaining the moisture levels around the perimeter of the house and letting the damage progress for several years after the first signs of an issue presented themselves. Consequently, for six weeks, we been fixing consequences. Not problems.

It's not too much of a stretch, to apply this same thinking to our country's abysmal situation. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are consequences. They are NOT the problem. The whole system is so broke in Washington and nobody seems to have any interest in fixing the problem. That leaves us trying to fix the consequences. And believe me, both these scumbags are consequences.

I'm not much of an Economist. But is the $20 Trillion debt the problem? Nay, nay, thrice times nay! The debt is a consequence of years and years and years of not addressing the problem.

Crime, poverty, dope......

I can go on and on. But I find it too depressing. Just dream up any problem you can. Then ask yourself. Is it really the problem? Or is it a consequence?

I see a real need to get down to causes and conditions. And it hurts like hell to actually do that. As a rule,  I refuse to address the problem. Therefore, I spend most of my time fixing consequences. I'm not convinced that you are any different.

It cost me a friendship a few weeks ago. A dear friend is so wrapped up in fixing consequences that she has NO idea what the problem is. In the middle of watching about 10 guys destroy my house, with my nerves running six inches out the ends of my fingers, and my brain too big for my head, she called. It was the same conversation we've had several dozen times. My tolerance and patience failed me. I was rude, caustic, and just plain mean. The loss of a friendship is NOT the problem. It is a consequence! Eventually, maybe one day, I will get down to the problem, to the actual causes and conditions of why I act that way.

My wife did not leave me today. But, hypothetically, let's just say that she packed all her stuff and hit the road. My problem would not be the potential loss of a marriage. The problem would be ME. And just what is it about me, that made her decide  to pack her things and hit the road after 27 years of marriage? I'll say it again. Causes and conditions.

I suggest to you that we spend way too much of our energy and time fixing consequences. And that's a shame. And it's sad. Sad for me. Sad for you. And sad for this broken world.