Thursday, 1 March 2018

Why do other people's problems seem easier to solve?

The Reductive Seduction of Other People's Problems

Read the above linked article. Read it once. Share it with everyone you know. It is one article that everyone should read. Especially everyone who wants to work or is working in the development sector.

You cannot solve problems without understanding them

It is very important to internalize this. Easy solutions are great. They are easy to understand. Easy to explain. Easy to implement. The only problem is, most of our big problems are complex and cannot be solved using easy solutions. 

You may have heard your friends/family talk about the education crisis in the country. They usually combine the 'Everything is wrong' sentiment with a very easy solution like 'All schools should be government' 'Education should be free' 'Force all government school teachers to send their children to government schools'. It makes for a great conversation at a party but now with your two month or one year two month experience in the sector, you know that its a stupid solution. It is stupid not because its wrong. Its stupid because its so on the surface that it will do nothing to solve the root problems. 

I am not saying everyone needs to go indepth of everything they talk about. I am saying that people who are working in that sector should dive to that depth. It is not a 'good to have'. It is our responsibility. Our duty. 

I would like to close by quoting the end of the article

"Resist the reductive seduction of other people’s problems and, instead, fall in love with the longer-term prospect of staying home and facing systemic complexity head on. Or go if you must, but stay long enough, listen hard enough so that “other people” become real people. But, be warned, they may not seem so easy to “save.”"

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