The Search for a Solution

My last article (Insulting Elders – Abusing Youth) prompted from someone who regularly responds to my articles a question for me of “What is the solution?”.  Over the years other friends, colleagues and readers have asked this same question.  It is a valid question to ask of one who is perceived as most often trying to frame the challenge of an issue, rather than addressing the solution.

It is most unlikely that there will be only “one” solution or a quick fix to the shifts of change, which are a constant. Most of our human challenges are complex having been created over generations.

The greatest dilemma being faced in the developed world today is the one-dimensional thinking, which implies that life is about economics, more importantly, only about money; little else matters.  One recent article suggested that we live in a commercial culture based on money, power and commercial consumption.

Economics has become the primary focus of development, not people and their communities.  Forgotten is the fact that economic development, as we have come to know it, had as its foundation, community development.  Community development, at its roots, is organic.

While most of the global focus is now on the economy, there appears little understanding that economy and monetary issues are not necessarily one and the same. An economy, like a community, and much like the human psyche, is very diverse and complex. This is directly related to the fact that both economies and communities (among many other concepts) are human creations that emulate human need and want.

It is not global warming, economic collapse or any of the other dire predictions, with which we are so often threatened; it is the human condition that is our greatest challenge; the greed, materialism and subsequent moral decline that is evident.  These are not new issues, but have been evident during other periods of human history.

Our difficulties also relate to the dilemma in most countries (including democracies) whereby people have grown up in cultures, with a focus on a leader (perhaps a savior), as one who will provide the answer; even the solution.

Most often, as we have learnt over time, their answers and solutions are wonting, most are flawed and many detrimental to life and living for ordinary folks.  Over the long haul, they have brought us to the current state of affairs in the world and the disparate state of the human condition.

In my experience in community and economic development since the 1970’s I have seen, studied and even practiced some of the multiplicity of “solutions” that have been offered by so many leaders (“gurus”).  To suggest one solution to either of these development issues or the others that are evident, is to imply that there is one solution to life itself, and we all know that is a myth.

Each and every living being has part of the solution to the issues that we now must address.  This is why, in history, no leader, prophet or savior has been able to solve this natural dilemma of human excess.  The most that they have been able to accomplish is to influence enough of the masses in order to bring this condition into some balance.

It has been my good fortune to have traveled widely and lived and worked in countries with old communities and cities; some older than 1000 years.  This gives one a perspective on change and the transformational nature of societies and their communities, institutions and economies.  It is fascinating to contemplate how many transformations these places have endured over time through social and economic changes and often traumatic wars.

As mentioned in previous articles, the future of communities and their approach to development relies on their understanding of the past. Wisdom can be gleaned from how people have transitioned difficult times before.  More importantly, the values that provided the foundation and stability in order for them to endure the transformations, become critical.

If we would attempt to feel in our hearts, the quandaries of our ancestors and their experiences of the past; we might learn much about the human condition.  We may even discover how the human condition, and its perfection, has been misinterpreted and distorted by so many convinced that they have “understood” its very basis.

This gets back to my point about a solution; there is not one solution to living that fits every individual. The best that can be hoped is that we develop approaches to living that allows for the fit of most of those who live in close proximity, as people tend to do.

Perfection in nature and in life is often different than what most people perceive.  This is because we contemplate it with our minds and negate what we feel in our hearts.

Written by Bill Pardy

April 5th, 2011

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.