Is there a Problem?

How often do we confront our fears? How many of us willingly admit our limitations? Whoever takes pride in recalling one’s defeat or highlights a moment of weakness?

As a communication expert, I regularly meet people from various walks of life. Some of these are scholars, college professors, administrators, policy-makers, management professionals and housewives. More frequent interactions are with the students who generally become the victims  of my rehearsed lectures on communication skills and personality development.

What I observe in most of these delightful encounters is that we as humans are quick to notice the failures of our friends, neighbors and acquaintances and are more eager to offer ready – made solutions to them. When it comes to issues plaguing our personal lives we simply refuse to acknowledge them until the time  they ramify and start casting their ominous shadows on our brightly lit universe. Problem is a universal phenomenon. It occurs in multiple forms and numerous ways. There could be a health issue, a family conflict, a legal tussle, an identity crisis or a financial matter.  The issues could also be linked to attitudinal or behavioral problems. It is indeed very reassuring to believe that nothing can go wrong in my life. So sometimes when problems arrive we just shut our eyes and remain oblivious to the many vital signs that warn us of the forthcoming troubles. We seem to have easily caught up with the cliche ” Don’t worry , be happy”. Before you get me wrong , let me clarify that I am not contesting the goodness of the expression nor questioning its credibility. However, ignoring the primitive signs of breakdown or passing the blame on to others is just like blindfolding yourself to avoid seeing what you do not choose to see. Hiding or escaping is not a solution. Living under the illusion will not prevent the catastrophe. Procrastination only worsens it further.

Nobody likes a problem. Nobody does. Since our childhood we are instructed , ” Do not see the problem, find a solution” while some others advice, ” Problems do not last but tough people do.” With  due reverence for such unflinching optimism, the only point that needs to be addressed is how to make these people tough? How not to see the problem and still keep the optimism? Do we have a choice to avoid becoming victims to situations  and circumstances? No, but we do have a choice to deal with such situations. To solve a problem we need to first identify the problem. Identification should be followed by acceptance.  If an individual is born with disability, the disability is not a problem, it is the non-acceptance of it that is the real problem. There are debilitating diseases that need care and prevention. Social stigmas attached to several  medical,social  and religious issues hold back people from confronting them. It is the fear of  public ridicule, of losing honor, dignity, ego, friends or loved ones that makes us feeble.  It is the fear of criticism, the fear of desolation or even the fear of giving that blurs our vision. We are a race obsessed with the idea of success. We feel ashamed and let down if things are not as per our liking  or if we are not in  an advantageous position. So we create a myth of wellness, of perfection of flawless existence. Is it self-deception that magnifies the problem? Knowing ourselves is the key to knowing the unknown.

We cannot thrive on false hopes and unrealistic expectations. In the process of solving a problem we need to see a problem as it is without any coloring of the situation. It is time to confront the truth; truth that is guided by a clear stream of reason. The sooner we accept the better. Indifference causes potential harm. The quality to observe, recognize and understand  the gravity of a situation is what essentially draws the line between good or bad decisions. In other words the power of decision making is directly related to our ability to sense the world around us, to feel and visualize. There is no external inspiration or any prophetic vision, it is the response to our inner sensations that can lead us to find logical answers to our problems. It is not the impression of perfection that we give to others but the factual analysis of our situation that would assist us to arrive at right decisions. One who conquests ego and vanquishes fear is the man who wins.

Let courage be your guiding light and actions be your sheer delight!

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