I’ve read a few articles now which deal with this issue. The first was from Reader’s Digest and an interview with President Obama. They were asking him a lot of religious questions and one in particular, they asked him about abortion. He spoke about unplanned pregnancies and how instead of focusing on the actual fact that they are pregnant and what we should do about that, we should instead focus on why they’re becoming pregnant in the first place. Prevention versus treatment of the issue. (not to say treatment isn’t important…but it doesn’t solve the core problem)
The second article I read was from Seth Godin’s blog and it was titled “Bear Shaving“. Seth is a leader in market thinking and has some great perceptions into how things are done, how they should be done, and why they end up being done the way they are. He used several examples but the one about bears spoke to shaving a bear so it could deal with global warming instead of actually dealing with the global warming issue.
There exist many examples of “bear shaving” and the way to fix this approach is two-fold. Find a way to treat the issue, but more importantly, find a prevention to the issue. We tend to focus on the treatment because it’s in our face. It’s a short term solution and so we feel as though something is being done when in reality it’s not at all. We need to shift out thinking and realize that we need to educate people about things that are happening to cause the issue in the end.
A great example of this is the obesity problem. There are so many drug companies developing all these “miracle” cures and pills and drinks and diets and it’s all Bullshit. What we need to do (and watch The Biggest Loser for proof) is to 1) Eat well and 2) Exercise. This needs to start with our children. When I was a kid I played sports, my mom/dad would cook for us and we never had to worry about weight. But, as our kids grow up and have kids of their own, the problem only gets worse. Families who don’t know about proper nutrition and exercise need to be educated. Our kids need to get back into sports and eat less junk. This will lead to a larger prevention of obesity. Diets and drugs only work so long. There needs to be a shift in our thinking. And healthier people equals happier people equals a better world.
The next time you encounter a problem, ask yourself “am I about to shave a bear?”