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wundayatta's avatar

Could you survive if all you saw were the problems to be solved?

Asked by wundayatta (58709points) January 25th, 2011

Has there been a time in your life where you could only see problems and more problems in front of you with no respite. What was happening to make the world like this for you? How did it affect you?

I think that if we look around at the world, we can see problems and pain everywhere we look, if we want. We might respond to this with cynicism. We might resign ourselves to think that pain and lying are typical. We might ask ourselves rhetorically, isn’t it always the case that the wrong thing happens?

In your life, would this view need to be balanced by a sense of some positive things happening? Or is it possible to live happily, seeing only problems and working on solutions?

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8 Answers

Dutchess_III's avatar

Uh…well. I think..I think I’ve been confronted with problems that seemed to have no end. No matter what They say, sometimes it’s best to just put your head down and concentrate on one step at a time and take joy in one small problem being solved at a time. Keep the Big Picture out of your head….for the most part…..or you’ll get overwhelmed by the journey.

CaptainHarley's avatar

When things seem to be ganging up on me like that, I usually try to cultivate my sense of “I don’t GIVE a shit!” LOL!

blueiiznh's avatar

What I have experienced is both sides, and it is somewhat cyclical.
There have been times when nothing but crap, bad things and negative events seemed to rear there heads. Once in those modes, it feels like you open a filter up to see more. Maybe out of being alert to more. I dont know.
Other times I have been in the mode of everything coming out smelling like roses and being in the right place at the right time. Once in that space, the power and esteem seems to bring more good.
I have always believed in karma and also that what you project is what you will tend to attract. If you walk around in a funk you will certainly get a different feedback and energy then walking around with a strong positive smile. I think that energy is obvious and attracts and creates the same.
How it affected me is that when in the bad times, i reflect on a one day at a time and a good nights sleep can bring new. I hunker down and work on the problems in a tenatious way to try to make a change. even a little win can help. I have had some pretty trying times and have grown significant depth and wisdom in getting through them. I use each one to learn.
During the high times, I ride that wave like it is the most awesome surf ride and wanna keep going.
But I do know that life is like the ocean and full of waves and has crests and troughs. So knowing this i continue to ride and make sure i don’t get pulled under.
I tend towards the positive optimistic side as that works for me so much better. I also get reward in helping others during their tough times if they need.
But, that is just me and what works for me.

jerv's avatar

I am surviving. If nothing else, I am too spiteful to do otherwise :p

Seriously, behind the jaded cynicism, I am actually quite the optimist. I see lots of problems that need solving, and some days I don’t see anything except problems. Yet I am still here with a shit-eating grin.

Earthgirl's avatar

I do tend to take setbacks hard. But I always seem to bounce back. Sometimes I think if only I didn’t take things so hard, life would be so much easier for me! It’s just not how I’m made. I’m very sensitive. But I value my sensitivity too, because it’s what allows me to experience life in a profound way, and it’s the only way I know how to be. A blessing and a curse. As Vonnegut would say, So it goes!!! Dealing with pain is part of the price of freedom. But your have to deal with one problem at a time, please! Beware of the negative filter!!!! I’m not so sure I answered your question, Wundayatta

blueiiznh's avatar

@Earthgirl is so right on with the part of feeling sensitivity to it all. Your feeling and taking the hard things are tough, but the highs are sooooo much higher.
I agree you can’t go through life. But thats just me

wundayatta's avatar

I was just wondering. I see a lot of problems, and sometimes I feel cynical, but I believe that saying that says, “scratch a cynic and you’ll find an idealist.” Back when I was in my twenties, and Reagan was running for election the first time, I spent days working from the morning until well into the night trying to get John Culver elected in his fight against Chuck Grassley. For some reason, Grassley has been returned to Congress every time since that election.

Reagan’s election depressed me terribly, as did Bush the first and second’s. I didn’t think the country could survive them. Obviously, we have survived. We’re worse off than we would have been, but we’re still here. People seem to have a great will to survive, even under the worst conditions. They find a way.

Of course, we’re after more than survival. We want people to have a good quality of life. We want to get people out of poverty.

I’m still hopeful despite all the obstacles there are in the way. I believe people are good, but many of them are misguided. So I have some positive feelings to balance the negative ones.

I asked this question because I’ve seen people who seem to think there are only negative things in the world. Everything is a problem to be solved. I don’t know if I could take it if I believed that.

What I’m talking about is probably related to depression, but different from it. When I was really depressed, I did want to check out, but that was because of personal pain. Seeing only problems is not exactly personal pain of the same sort. Some of it is pain at a distance. Some of it is cynicism about how one relates to people.

I think that being cynical about the well-meaningness of people is different from feeling like you are worthless to the point where you add nothing to world and might as well die. But still, it must be withering to only see problems and never feel any relief; never feel like you’ve improved anything. Even when I was depressed, I believed that problems could be solved. Just not my problems.

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