“I got 99 problems, but a bitch aint one.” –HOV. That’s the truth. There are more than enough problems in each of our lives, which makes tackling the problems of the world seem to be beyond our reach. I am sure that each of you can name a long list of things in your personal lives that you are not completely satisfied with.
Whether it be your job, your girlfriend or boyfriend, where you live, the size of your wallet or the size of your gut, you have more than enough issues to deal with. The question is: will you ever deal with them? We become so overwhelmed with the amount of sh*t that needs tweaking that we never get started on fixing any of the things that need fixing.
If you are anything like me, then you dream big — very big. You don’t only want to fix your own problems but you want to fix the problems of the world. Sadly, if you never fix yourself, you won’t be able to fix any of the larger problems plaguing society and the human race.
The first step in fixing any problem is identifying the problem — starting with your own, of course. This can prove to be the most difficult step of the process. It requires a level of self-understanding and honesty that few can muster. Being honest with yourself is hard; it requires you to take a look at yourself from the outside, from someone else’s perspective.
You have to learn to see yourself as the rest of the world sees you — with the same judgmental eyes. You have to look beyond your physical appearances alone and look at your actions, your words, your habits and all of those broken promises to yourself that you never kept. It’s amazing to consider how much we promise ourselves and how very rare it is to see that promise come to fruition. Anyone who has attempted a diet and failed, attempted to learn to play an instrument and failed, any people who have started a project and given up before completion, have made themselves a promise that they failed to keep.
It’s a matter of being honest with yourself. Give up making excuses and see your failures for what they are: lack of willpower or lack of desire. Pinpoint whether you are lacking the desire to succeed or the desire to fix your problems or whether you are simply too lazy to do so. This is your greatest problem: your inability to man up or woman up and take care of the sh*t that you need to take care of.
Yes, there are a lot of problems for you to work on, but never getting started means never finishing. If you don’t start working on your issues, then you will never fix them. There are tons of excuses that you can give for why now is not the right time. Now is never the right time. Later is not a good time either. Before is the best time, but we missed it. We were too caught up in the rest of our lives that we failed to work on what mattered most. So now will never be a good time — but it’s a good enough time.
Pinpointing the issue is our biggest problem. Whether it be our personal problems or problems plaguing cities, countries or generations, we find ourselves too caught up in our lives to be able to focus in on the actual issues. We are part of the problem and are trying to look at things from the inside out. We have a skewed perception of the world because the reality that we live in is a product of the issues in the world.
Whenever we look at larger problems — problems facing millions upon millions of people — regardless of where we believe the problems to be located, the problem is larger than we believe it to be. It is not simply that there are children dying from hunger. That there are millions dying from diseases that more advanced countries like the U.S. have cures for. That there are countries divided between governmental bodies and those deemed to be rebels. Consumerism — money — is the fuel driving the problems of the world.
If you make over $35,000 dollars a year then you are in the top 2% of the wealthiest people in the world. 35k is not much…at least not to those living in the United States. When you look at this number in the grander scheme of things, you should come to notice that consumerism focuses on those who have money, that make at least $35,000 a year — give or take.
Now think about what it is in our world that we are not trying to make a profit from. Clothing companies, food companies and producers, electronic companies, software companies, medical companies, pharmaceuticals, governments, schools, cities, towns, corner stores, electricity suppliers, water suppliers… you name it and there is someone in that company looking to make a pretty penny from the services they provide. Our thinking as people is that this is acceptable, that this is how things ought to be. It only makes sense that we would like to prosper from the fruits of our labor. It makes sense, doesn’t it?
If this is the way that we ought to think, then how can we ever expect those that are facing the problem of poverty, those that do not make money, those that have nothing to offer for the benefits they would receive from companies, to ever fix their problems? Fixing problems in itself takes money. Our world revolves around items and services with price tags.
We have non-profit organizations as well as fundraisers that aim to help the people suffering from the lack of what we consider to be basic necessities; we are throwing the problem at the problem. I am sorry to say that I have no solution to offer — no way out of this rat maze. We have built our societies, our culture atop an infrastructure of bills, coins and bank accounts.
We create businesses and companies that only cater to 2% of the world’s population. We create innovations that only 2% of the wealthiest in the world can use and benefit from. The first step is being honest with ourselves and accepting the problem at hand. Once we do this, then maybe someone brighter, more intelligent, more innovative and wiser than I can come up with a plan. Until then, we will all remain part of the problem.