So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
Follow by Email
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Some problems you don’t solve
Some problems are solved, others you have to live with.
It’s like getting a flat tire on your car in the middle of nowhere, far from cell phone coverage. If you have a spare tire, a jack and a tire iron, the problem can be solved. If you have no spare, then the problem can’t be solved. You are not going to drive home any time soon. Then it comes down to other options. Should you try and walk back? Would staying with the car be better? Is there a third way to live with it?
Most of us have grown up in a world where problems are solved. No water in the desert? Well then water is brought to the dessert, either from aqueducts or very deep wells. Insects attacking your crops: poison them. That stops working, then genetically alter the crops. Oil shortage? Drill more, use alternative fuels, and increase efficiency. Define a problem, then find a solution.
Sometimes the problems get too big to fix. The deep wells dry up. The supply for the aqueduct stops flowing. Insects adapt to your farming techniques faster than they can be defeated. Oil wells come up dry, alternatives fall short, and efficiency can’t be increased infinitely.
That’s on the macro scale. An individual have almost no influence at that level. Occasionally large groups of individuals working in common can do something, but even they can’t make something out of nothing. If there is no spare tire, there is no spare tire. At the individual level, macro problems can’t be solved, only lived with.
For example, your income drops and you can no longer afford house payments. To solve the problem, income could be increased or maybe smaller payments could be negotiated. If the problem can’t be solved, then what? Then it’s time to figure out a new living arrangement. The situation changes from “how can I make this payment?” to “how do I stay out of the rain?”
The sooner a person recognizes the problem can’t be solved, the more time there is to find a way to live with it. Having the sheriff at your door with an eviction order limits your options. Finding a rent at the last minute isn’t easy. A little lead time and thought on the problem and better ways of living with it might be found. Maybe the house could be sold and a more affordable one bought. Living in your car isn’t all that bad if your car is a motorhome. Just about any kind of shelter beats living on the streets.
We have a lot of potential problems beyond our ability to solve, but we with some forethought and flexibility, we could increase our ability to live with them. It could be something financial, but it could be food, electricity, transportation -just about anything we rely on day to day.
Then there are interpersonal issues. Many of those can’t be solved, only lived with. One person may help or assist another person, but they can never “fix” them. We can only fix ourselves, and even that is a challenge.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.