2019 has been a whirlwind of a year. As a society we have reached milestones and destroyed barriers. But we’ve also degressed. We have begun to spread and act upon unspeakable hatred for our fellow people. We have oppressed people and watched idly as people’s rights have been taken away. 2019 has unfortunately been a year of big problems.
So how do we solve big problems?
We have this notion that we have to think big. Big problems require big solutions. As Newton said, “Every action needs an equal and opposite reaction.” However, I personally don’t believe this is true. But why?
Equal and opposite reactions don’t need to happen in one blow. As people we tend to think that movements need to happen blow after blow with the same wild, unfiltered energy.
But is this practical? Will it secure victory?
In some cases, yes. But often times that blind approach doesn’t work.
War is never won on impulse. War requires coordinated, calculated, diligent attack’s created on the foundation of strategy. We are fighting wars on many fronts that require strategy and perseverance, yet we don’t try. We are discouraged that it’s simply too big and requires too much energy.
What makes me say this? Why do we need a steady stream of attacks? Why can’t we dismantle the masterminds of the evil in one blow?
Well, there are multiple reasons. The first one is that there isn’t just one mastermind lurking in the shadows. There isn’t one person sitting on a pedestal in some secluded building and ordering around their henchman of evil creating these problems. It’s multiple people, for whatever twisted reason, who are creating these problems. The second reason is that these big problems aren’t new. It’s not as if at 12:00 A.M. on January 1, 2019 these problems just manifested. They are long lasting and even ancient issues that have roots to almost the dawn of time. These problems are like a Hydra. We can cut one head down only to find three more heads in its place. Another way to think about it is like a weed. We can keep cutting it down on the surface level but the roots will remain bringing new life to the issue. How can one attack change this? To further elaborate, problems that are deep rooted in our society and culture need to be solved with systemic change– that’s the only way the solutions stay intact throughout history.
If we are going to solve a problem we have to do it right. We cannot settle for bandaid solutions!
So what does a strategic attack look like?
A strategic attack is based off of research and a humble mindset. People have many assumptions about what certain problems actually are and what their implications are but we need to realize that we don’t know the answer to everything. We need to admit, to ourselves and others, that our place of privilege prevents us from seeing certain problems as is. It means doing the research and facing the harsh realities.
Our ignorance and arrogance have consequences. It is important to remember that our geography, race, class, family history, and education all play a role in dictating our view of the world. Sometimes they make us hyper aware and sometimes they shield us. Regardless, it is important to remember that we are not bound to our opinions with chains. We are allowed to learn and grow for the better.
Today’s world changes within seconds — before our eyes. This minutes news is the next minutes history. We need to constantly educate ourselves.
In the end, we have a responsibility to acknowledge that times are changing faster than ever. We simply cannot expect that things worked in the past can work now. Brushing problems that we don’t want to face under the carpet is a solution we can no longer afford. It’s not a solution at all. As people we need to acknowledge our differences and realize that in this is our one life that we are gifted with. We have an option to choose to continue to be ignorant or to break the cycle. We need to continue to be empathetic individuals that focus themselves on becoming better and pushing harder to break out of their comfort zones. We need to plan, participate, and carry out systemic change. Change isn’t simply a hashtag or a word uttered here or there but it is a lifestyle and a commitment that we all have to make.