We’re Better Than This

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By Greg Henderson

America is a country known for overcoming extreme obstacles. In fact, it seems we seek them out just to prove we can beat them. If you’re firmly planted on our soil in work-boots and determination you may be one who refuses to use the word ‘obstacle’ instead, calling it ‘opportunity’. That’s a mindset, mind- over-matter kind of determination. And our history has thousands of excellent examples. 

Today we have some problems. Pretty big ones. Maybe not the biggest ever but certainly the biggest in a couple of generations. The truth of the matter is we probably wouldn’t be too concerned about some of them if they were standing alone. It’s the number of them coming at us all at once that can be eye- popping. They must be sorted into a priorities list organized in a way to get them quickly and efficiently resolved. 

We have the Covid pandemic, wildfires, homelessness, PTSD, business closures, unemployment, a housing problem with income gaps, education challenges, water shortages, heat waves, climate change, hunger, infrastructure failures, inequity in many things, drugs, crime and violence, healthcare affordability and availability, and, and, and… the list can go on. 

Maybe that would be a good place to stop. A couple of things to realize: 

  • Throwing vast amounts of money at things may be the wrong thing to do.
  • Political favoritism is likely to (eventually if not immediately) cause more problems than it
  • Finding individual fault can be divisive and a waste of time.
  • Sloth is one of the Seven Deadly Sins; don’t be lazy.
  • Goals are dreams with a deadline. Don’t bank on dreams.
  • Gifts and handouts can become habits, like riding a tiger that becomes more difficult to
    dismount the longer you stay on board. 

Finding fault is one thing of which there is no shortage. No surprise, since the skills we have in abundance are those we practice most. Too many seem to be vying for the gold medal in expressing what is wrong. The competition is fierce, but in my book deserves no praise.
At a business meeting, I once had a boss who said from that point on, “Every complaint must be accompanied with a suggestion for solving the issue of concern.” 

Technology with its array of social media creations can be both a curse and a blessing depending on our abilities to use them. Devising methods to effectively map our way through the jungle of thoughts and ideas flying in our faces is a must. The Type ‘A’ person who races to the front of the room determined to be the one in charge may not be the best leader. Consider the quiet thinker sitting in the rear. Then sort through the possibilities to select the best ideas. Discard bad ideas without remorse. That’s decision making. 

Scattered thoughts might spur your mind to grasping ways of mending a few of our challenges. Your thoughts are extremely important. Share them. Who knows, one of them may be the valuable gem we’ve all been waiting for. 

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