It Is Not a Problem; It’s a Perspective

It Is Not a Problem; It’s a Perspective

Play this article

A very short post but an important one.

In our everyday lives, we encounter various situations that we quickly label as 'problems.' These challenges, no matter their scale, seem to be a fundamental part of being human. However, the concept of a problem is not as black and white as we might think.

Have you ever considered that what we perceive as a problem is the desired situation for someone else?

Take, for example, a rainy day. For many, it might ruin plans for an outdoor picnic, but for a farmer in need of water for their crops, it's a blessing. Similarly, an individual struggling with debt might view it as a hurdle, but for the credit card company and its investors, it's their objective. This variation in perspectives extends to all corners of life. A shop assistant facing verbal abuse from a stressed customer sees it as a problem, leading the store owner to hire a security guard. This decision to hire the guard increases operational costs - another problem but now for the shop owner. Yet, the presence of the guard reduces shoplifting therefore offsetting these costs.

This phenomenon highlights our innate ability for creative thinking, especially in how we define problems. Often, these so-called problems are constructs of our expectations, desires, and societal norms.

When we set out to solve or address ‘problems’, we're simply choosing which perspective in someone to shift. In doing so, we might sometimes address the 'wrong' problem. But is it really wrong or right? By changing the perspective of a situation, we're affecting change for a person or group, regardless of the original intent.

So, instead of pondering which problem to solve, maybe we should consider whose perspective we wish to alter.

However, the real lesson might be found in Buddhist teachings. Rather than trying to solve problems, perhaps we should focus on dissolving the very illusion of problems. By shifting our focus from problem-solving to perspective-altering, we might find a path to greater happiness and understanding in our own lives and be as contented as a buddhist monk.