There is a difference between pointing out problems and solving problems. Without a doubt, we encounter a myriad of problems in our personal lives, our society, and our world. I have noticed people are pretty accomplished at pointing out problems in others, society and the world. Not so much in ourselves. Maybe that's because it's hard to point out our own problems and talking about the problems of society and the world are much less personal.
The issue is, it's easier to talk about problems than it is to come up with solutions for them - whether they are personal or bigger than just us as individuals. I have to admit, one of my pet peeves is when people complain about a problem, and get all worked up about it, but don't present a possible solution. Sometimes when they do that, they think they are problem-solvers, but really they are problem-pointer-outers. Being a pointer-outer is easier than being a solver. I often fall into that habit, and have to remind myself to either contribute a solution, or shut up.
The thing is, I don't have a solution for every problem, so I contemplate a lot, but don't say much. If, in my contemplations, I come up with something I feel could be a viable solution, I will state it publicly and see what happens. Often, someone will disagree, and sometimes he or she has a more viable and satisfying solution. Sometimes he/she has a less viable and satisfying solution. And sometimes we disagree, but the other individual has no suggestions at all. I listen. I listen carefully, because I want to hear all possible solutions.
Why does it happen that we can see problems, but not solutions? Maybe because solutions are harder to come by. I wonder if people are afraid to think too deeply about issues in our lives and in our world? Are they afraid that, as they search for a solution to the challenges humans face, they will find - nothing? Or maybe they, personally, will have to change? Or do they feel marginalized and as if their thoughts and ideas don't matter? Maybe they just don't want to? Do people not care? Have we opted for the easier road, the wider path of apathy? Or, are we just too darn busy and lazy to engage our brains on a deeper level?
There are a lot of big things happening in the world right now, and there are a lot of problems and issues we all face in our personal lives on a daily basis. I see them pointed out all the time. I am pretty sure we would agree that where there are problems there are solutions - but, often, I think we settle in our lives and our society by allowing others to think for us. We are short-changing humanity when we limit our contributions because we don't take time to think through a problem with the end goal of trying to solve it. We end up reacting in frustration or pain - which often compounds the problems.
I know it can be a scary proposition. My ideas and solutions are rejected all the time. I was told dozens of different ways the Torch would fail. I have to say, though, what I have observed is change in the very people who expected us to fail because our approach to serving our fellow human beings does not follow the conventional non-profit path. They are starting to adapt and change THEIR approaches to line up more with ours. I don't even know if they would admit that or be able to acknowledge it - but it is definitely happening. I believe that is softening the impact on human beings who need help - which is the best reward EVER for me. It was a risky solution, but it has worked.
So, what problems can you solve? What problems can I solve?
Maybe we need a national day set aside for thinking things through.