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jdegrazia's avatar

Is it dangerous to consider something traditionally regarded as a PROBLEM as a FACT?

Asked by jdegrazia (266points) September 18th, 2008

Apparently, Yitzhak Rabin once said:

If you have the same problem for a long time, maybe it’s not a problem; maybe it’s a fact.

And that kind of freaks me out. Problems imply solutions, but facts imply acceptance.

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13 Answers

cheebdragon's avatar

Does anyone else understand?

Lightlyseared's avatar

er.. no cheeb, sorry

tWrex's avatar

No I don’t get it. I’ve attempted to rephrase it but I’m lost.

I tried to equate it to my back being hurt as being a problem, but at the same time that’s a fact. You could look at problems as only being facts in relation to the person who’s viewing it, but then we’re getting into a totally different subject matter – or at least I believe we are.

augustlan's avatar

If you read the blog post linked, above, it becomes clearer. I think the asker is saying if a problem is around long enough to be considered a “fact of life”, then people stop trying to fix the problem. Becoming complacent about persistent problems of society could be “dangerous” if accepting the “fact” means never trying to improve the conditions it involves.

tWrex's avatar

Got it. Hey that’s how our government works. The VA too!

cheebdragon's avatar

Expect the worst out of life, and you will never be disappointed…..

tWrex's avatar

“I found that if you have a goal, that you might not reach it. But if you don’t have one, then you are never disappointed. And I got to tell you it feels phenomenal.”—Peter LaFleur

kevbo's avatar

In Thailand, they say that anything too big to be swept under the rug becomes furniture.

Hope vs. Realist sensibility. One feels better, but the other tends to stick. Do we hope to end hunger when the reality is that power requires hunger for control and profit? Is hope our most enlightened state or is it an opiate for the naive?

Another quote (from Zen Buddhism), “When one mind is strong, the whole world is strong.” Put another way:

If you practice strongly then you become free. You don’t share as much karma with your native land. For example, one of my students was born in India, then came to America, practiced strongly and became a monk. He has not much together action with Indian people, not much suffering. Strong practice helps him and his country. That’s very important. I came to America to help American people; that also helps my country. If one person is strong, then slowly, slowly, helping your country is possible. Helping the whole world is possible.

Problem or fact, perhaps the result is the same- suffering. How do you create freedom from suffering? Is it best done with food or protests or with compassion?

Also, I don’t doubt the sincerity of your inquiry, I’d just advise to be careful about using Fluther to drive traffic to your blog, since refraining from self promotion is part of the package here. Perhaps a note of disclosure next time. Thanks.

cyndyh's avatar

I would think that compassion would lead one to action, so it’s not an either/or situation. I’ll say I think it works better if compassion comes first.

Sloane2024's avatar

Very insightful question. Lurve for you.

I believe it’s strictly based on personal opinion. What do you consider a conflict requiring a solution yielding a positive or negative outcome? What have you simply accepted as fact, choosing not to contemplate whether or not there is a viable answer? And have you done so based on what society and what those around you believe? One can also begin to walk the fine line of denial in such a matter. We must be cautious not to refuse facts because accepting them would force us to face a harsh reality; however, we can’t simply absorb without question whatever ideals the world offers us.

jdegrazia's avatar

@kevbo Sorry about the lack of disclosure. I linked through because I feared that the question might be hard to understand, and I didn’t want to overwhelm everyone in explanation section. I’ll definitely make sure I disclose the link destination if I ever link back to my blog again.

As for your answer, great thoughts. I think hope has to be an enlightened state. And I think enlightenment, as described in most spiritual traditions, is great evidence of that. Do 300 year old monks and nuns despair? Their writings and images certainly haven’t ever communicated that to me. And Bob Thurman talks about how much fun it is to be compassionate.

Which takes us to your last question. How do we create freedom from suffering?

Demonstrate to people that the most rewarding and exciting and fascinating path is the path toward solutions, the path of identifying injustices or tragedies as problems to be solved, not facts to be accepted?

jdegrazia's avatar

@cheebdragon @lightlyseared @twrex I’m sorry for the confusing question. It’s semantic and thus frustrating. And it was, admittedly, something of an impulse ask. I’ll try to be clearer next time.

@augustian Thanks much for the help explaining me.

tWrex's avatar

No worries. I would have read through the entire article, but saw how long it was and didn’t have time, so I was trying to answer based on what was in the explanation section. And yes if you would have put that into the explanation section it would have overwhelmed everyone. =-) But good question and I’ll try to get through the post tonight so I can answer more cleverly.

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