Problems and Solutions: Which one be ye?

Solution Finding Stimulus-Behave as-if your so...

Solution Finding Stimulus-Behave as-if your solution is happening. (Photo credit: Create-Learning Team Building & Leadership)

Well, here we are in 2014.  After the revelry and hangovers subside, and all the touchy-feely-laughy New-year’s wishes subside, we’re left with the same old wacky and dysfunctional world we had last week, and the week before that, and so on.  I’m sure we’ve all thought about things to resolve in the new year.  But, at the core, we’re all still the same people.  Can’t change that.  Or can we?

I have a goal this year.  Well, I have many goals, but one goal that’s personal.  I want to give something to the world this year beside constant criticism of all that is wrong with the world.  There is enough of that already.  We are all aware of the decay of society in general and a lot of the specifics.  One could certainly dig up a LOT more specifics.  But just being able to enumerate more problems isn’t going to make them go away any faster.

What we need to get rid of problems is solutions.  But, the solutions that are really needed aren’t always so cut and dried as they might appear.  If a child runs to you with a bleeding elbow, the immediate solution is disinfectant and a band aid.  But if the child suddenly starts coming to you every 20 minutes with a new wound, or every day with more wounds than the previous day, a band-aid is no longer the solution.  There is a systemic problem that requires something else.

My goal this year is to record at least one song every day.  I’m starting with Christmas music.  It really doesn’t matter, as long as each song brings some joy or happiness to someone at some time, even if it’s only to me.  Yes, I’m a long-time musician, so it will come easier to me than most people.  But it’s still going to stretch me and improve me as a musician and as a person to do this project.  I won’t have to step too far away from who I am to accomplish it.  I’m only going to have to focus on making it a habit and be diligent.

Years ago, Coke made commercials using the song lyrics, “I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.”   Well, Coke is poison that didn’t need to be marketed, and the idea of singing a song about fixing the world is a little naive.  But, no it isn’t naive!  Anything we do to make the world a little better takes time away from doing something that makes the world a little worse.  Another commercial shows how one kindness of holding a door open trickles down to several acts of kindness.  Happiness and kindness are contagious.

What comes out of the heart is what’s contagious.  Mere acts are not love and kindness.  They spring from love and kindness.  So, if you really want to change the world, you can do so from the heart.  And you will.  But the hardest person to change will be yourself.

When we decide to behave a certain way, it may make us very uncomfortable or tired.  Doing what is not natural is hard.  But, psychologists tell us that, if we do it long enough, it becomes what we do.  We change and become the person who behaves that way.  Some tell us that it takes 21 days to make a habit.  I dare you to try it.  I have noticed that it does work.  I have not often managed to get past 21 days trying to make any habit.  It’s HARD!  But it is possible.

The question is whether or not all the effort is worth it to try to change this cold, cruel world.  The answer depends upon one, and only one thing: do you want to live in the world as it is or do you want something better.  If you are happy to accept misery, then by all means do nothing but whine and complain.  If you want better, then the answer is clear.  Do something to make it better.

Maybe you can’t adopt the millions of starving children in the world, but you can find a way to spread a little cheer to the ones you know, or you can find a way to help someone break the cycle of poverty.  Maybe you can’t stop gang violence in your streets.  But you can find a way to keep it off your block and away from your children.  Maybe you can’t sing a lick.  But you can take someone to the symphony, or the free community concerts, or you can get someone piano lessons.  Maybe you can’t give a child a computer, but you can read him a book, or you can find used book stores and help educate a young, impressionable mind.  Maybe you can’t fix social security, but you can help your elderly neighbor shovel snow or mow the grass.  Maybe you can’t run for city alderman, but you can get some neighbors together and clean up trash in your neighborhood.  Maybe you can’t help your out-of-work neighbor paint his house, but you can supply the paint.  Maybe you can’t fight fires, but you can join the Fire Bell club and help provide food and water to the firemen.

There are all sort of problems in this world.  Some of the solutions are much bigger that what we ourselves can conquer.  But all problems come from us ourselves.  And all solutions must start with us as well.   So…….START!

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1 Comment

Filed under Open Mind

One response to “Problems and Solutions: Which one be ye?

  1. November 1st in 25 minutes. I have not recorded a song every day. I have a lot of good ideas. Places to places are paved with good ideas. Just saying.

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