Friday, December 2, 2011

No More Problems

One thing you will find over the coming weeks, if you haven't seen it already, is that I am a very much in favor of making careful distinctions.  One distinction John Michael Greer emphasizes is between problems and predicaments: problems have a solution; predicaments do not.  That distinction I am not so happy with.

Don't get me wrong, I think it is very useful to distinguish between things that can be solved and things that cannot.  My issue is with the connotations of the words he uses.  If you have math homework and you say you have 5 problems to solve, I have no problem with that.  Most of the time, though, both the words problem and predicament are very negative.  After reading Napoleon Hill, I came to the conclusion:

THERE ARE NO PROBLEMS, only opportunities.

Or to put it more humorously,

Opportunity knocks often.  Most people don't answer because it comes disguised as a problem.

Now, I have come to realize this isn't entirely true.  There are problems that are not opportunities, but they only happen when people are oblivious to them.  As soon as you recognize something is a problem, it becomes an opportunity to make a change and make things better.

Similarly, things we cannot change I prefer to call parameters, rather than predicaments.  We need to plan for things like mortality.  Fighting them makes no sense.

The language of opportunities and parameters will serve us well as we make the Long Ascent.

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