My son was pretty upset as he told me about the boys at school who had been teasing him and making fun of him. He was most upset because they use to be his friends but they had not been friendly recently. He was struggling to find a solution he liked.
The typical solutions were always there. Get violent and “make them pay,” or report them to an authority who would also “make them pay.”
These ‘either/or’ solutions would not create what he wanted.
He wanted his friends back. Or at least to have a peaceful relationship with them.
Finding the “And”
I invited him to get curious about a different solution.
How could he stop the conflict AND improve the relationship?
His “And” solution was to invite them to get a snack after school at their favorite hangout. While there he would talk to them about how he felt and what he wanted in the friendship.
This took courage on his part. And being willing to have difficult and uncomfortable conversations.
So far the “And” solution seems to be creating better results.
How does this help the rest of the world?
Right now it seems our society is losing its ability to solve its own problems. More and more I see people EITHER lashing out at each other OR crying for some “Authority” to fix it.
I have seen it too many times. People get frustrated for any number of reasons, and choose one of two solutions.
1)Violence – I use my own power to force you into compliance.
2)Authority – I compel someone with more power to force you into compliance.
Force has become our default problem solving ability.
When did humans become so helpless?
When did we start believing that the only solutions were “EITHER” violence, “OR” authority?
When did we stop looking for the “AND”?
Now Authority and violence are solutions. At times they are even necessary solutions.
If people cannot solve a problem it is useful to have a higher power intervene. But only if people CANNOT solve it themselves.
More and more I am seeing a society that will not solve them.
They want someone else to.
Just don’t interrupt Dancing with the Stars or the latest cat video.
Become a problem solver.
Humans get to develop better problem solving abilities.
Humans cannot continue to pass the buck and ask an authority to solve the problems. If this happens the “Authority” will have to continue to grow in size and power to fix all the problems.
Violence should always be the last result to solve a problem.
Are there other options?
Yes, and we get to discover and use them.
If each individual will solve their own problems we will become the solution.
We will see less violence.
We will remove the justification for overreaching authorities.
Become a better problem solver.
Become the Solution.