Solutions to complex problems require, so experts and politicians would have us think, usually need complex solutions.
Or do they?
Yikes, I’m getting a complex …
I’ve been reading a lot lately about government budgets – which becomes an exercise in reading about debt, deficits, and budget cuts – accompanied by loud wailng from everyone whose budget was cut which are essentially the same, “While we realize the belt must be tightened, our program/project etc. is too important – it is essential that it’s funding be maintained and expanded.”
We’ve heard these arguments and tunes about ‘spending v. investment’ ad-nauseam; the reality is that governments, with the consent of we the governed, collect money, and distribute it. Clearly, no politician ever excelled in math class or learned how to balance the checkbook of an average citizen or small business. Yet we need them. We need politicians without math skills and voters without a good memory or sound logic.
Societies, countries, companies, and households all need governance. Good governance. But look around at any group or collection of these – some are great, some are terrible, some are wandering aimlessly or desperately between those extremes like a green line on an oscilloscope.
Change, as Margaret Mead’s famous quote reminds us, of any meaningful kind starts small with committed people.
They change the world.
In our lifetimes, most of us will not see a de-invention of society, government, or how life is organized around the world – not because it isn’t needed, but because it seems like too large a problem to tackle. It isn’t too large, but it is difficult. So what do people do, rather than make large hard changes?
They protest. They march. They burn things. Sometimes they destroy things and injure people. They tilt at windmills and blame climate change on carbon dioxide rather than blaming carbon dioxide on climate change. We can’t change the sun or our orbit around it. We can’t change stupid.
Which begs the question, what can we change?
We can change the behavior of one person.
Doesn’t sound like much, does it?
But, if we have 100% power over one person, what can we do?
P.S.: I was watching an excellent documentary the other night – on the Smithsonian Channel, so one would presume the science is valid, explaining that our sun will enter a new phase and fry us all in 4-5 billion years from now, so what’s the point of anything we know or do now? Because, in that time we won’t have a way to fix our star, but we’ll likely have found ways to catch a cab to Mars or vacation on Saturn’s moon Titan. So, for the next few million years, we shouldn’t spend too much time on any of the problems we have now …