We often think in terms of problems and solutions: what don’t we want, and how to get rid of them.
But in many cases, personal and political, the proposed solutions contribute to the problem, instead of fixing it. The solution simply takes the problem in a new direction or to a new level.
This is incredibly common in politics, where solutions are proposed on party lines, all other solutions are dismissed or ridiculed, and there is no evaluation of how effective solutions are. What’s worse is that those who oppose a policy (proposed solution) are vilified, without considering whether the opposition has merit or not.
We think in terms of being part of the problem or part of the solution, while failing to identify the problems masquerading as solutions.
Solving problems demands that we constantly evaluate and re-evaluate our understanding of the problem and the effectiveness of the solutions we propose, as well as an openness to consider other possible solutions.