Quick Fixes or Puppies and Ponies Don’t Solve Everything

March 4, 2017

One thing I find myself thinking about more lately is problem solving.  In particular, the desire and preference for the fast solution or the “Quick Fix.”  This has been something I’ve noticed at work lately, as there has been a lot more… micromanaging in the cheese production process.  I won’t get very technical or detailed about it, but there has been a lot of small adjustments that might solve one problem, but in the end only create two or three more.

I see this more and more in the news lately.  Take Trump’s Wall on the Mexican border.  Does it really solve anything?  Drugs are still going to come in.  A wall isn’t going to do a damn thing to stop that.  Most of the “criminals” are already well established here.  Undocumented workers?  They are what keep a lot of agricultural industry going.  They are the dishwashers.  I don’t see a lot of Americans lining up to do these jobs.  It might be a short term solution, but doesn’t it just create more problems and cost even more billions later on to maintain the wall?

I’m reminded of what Yoda said about the Dark Side being stronger–another case in which that puppet had more wisdom than most people–in Empire Strikes Back, when he said, “No, no, no.  Quicker, easier, more seductive.”  The point I see in that is that quick fix might seem easier and more seductive, but doesn’t it lead to more problems in the end?

In another life, with an ex, we had a couple of fish tanks.  Each had probably five or six fish and my ex had suggested we get more fish.  Personally, I was never really that interested in fish and we did struggle to keep them alive.  I told her this and she was a bit miffed.  I suggest the idea of getting a dog at that point, being something I had an interest in doing at the time.  She ignored the suggestion and brushed it off, and I didn’t really bring it up again.

As serious of a step as that would have been, there were a myriad of issues that needed to be solved.  We could have gotten a puppy.  We could have gotten ponies if it made her happy.  Or more fish.  But would it have done that?  It would have been the same deal with proposing.  Yes, we could have done it, but would it have made a difference if she didn’t want to deal with those other issues?  I mean, I lost count of the number of times I said, “we’ll talk when you’re ready” only to have her never really want to talk about anything.  In a lot of ways, her quick fix of breaking up saved me from dealing with her drama, but I doubt it really solved any of her problems.

In general, I do find that the quick fixes are more detrimental to the long term than people like to think.  One thing I’ve been doing more of lately is thinking about the long term.  Have the long term goals clear and defined.  My mother asked me the other day if I had “given up” on trying to be a writer.  Given up?  Fuck no.  Admittedly the mental toll of working nights has caught up to me and I’m a bit more sidetracked, but that’s temporary.  I’m thirty, I got plenty of time.  If I leave my current job, I want to make sure its a better situation, which is the only reason I’m still there.  I haven’t set up the better, long term situation.

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