As I See It – Hurricane, Covid-19, Afghanistan, California fires – What’s going on America?

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Latest developments happening in America today blurred the otherwise serene life of the American people!

First, it was the corona virus pandemic for almost two years now. We thought we should have recovered in a year but the latest corona variant delta has surged the momentum again leading us not to ascertain when it will last. Many claims it will overflow up to next year… even up to 2023. The variant claimed lives again and sent millions of people back to the hospital making medical personnel busy once again in saving lives. This time, they nave to redouble their efforts as most people are unvaccinated and President Joe Biden’s administration have to redouble its vaccination efforts as well to cope with the situation. 

What makes it concerning is there are local officials who are against the vaccine/vaccination and wearing masks as antidotes to the spread of the virus. And… some governors are even going against the efforts of the federal government to enforce mask mandate and vaccination mandates even extending to the public schools. 

What’s going on America? Let’s be part of the solution, not the problem! Will it be that once and for all, we have to unite and be one in combatting the pandemic and not fighting each other in the attempt to suppress the pandemic? Let’s put politics aside and work not as Republicans and Democrats but as citizens of the United Statas of America. 

The latest hurricane Ida devastated Louisiana and adjoining cities such as New York and New Jersey. It claimed many lives and displaced a lot of people rendering them homeless and making affected areas having no electricity, no power leading to the disappearance of other basic necessities such as food and water. The hurricane caused flooding which literally made the cities affected like huge swimming pools and lakes in the metropolis, in the heart of the city. 

This must be the effect of global warming! Let’s unite and fight global warming to avoid further calamities of this sort in the future.

Another global warming catastrophe is the California fires. The Dixie fire lately was recorded as the biggest fire in California claiming many lives and rendering many homeless. Residents are scrambling for their lives and saving whatever properties they can salvage from the fires. 

The Biden administration need to rehash its global warming master plan and go back to the international body that former President Donald Trump has withdrawnaffiliation with. We need each other worldwide to combat global warming. 

The decision of president Biden to withdraw our forces in Afghanistan after 20 years has created many problems too. While I agree with his decision, he should have made precise efforts to safely withdraw, not only our soldiers, but other Americans and Afghan allies who helped the US during said period. 

Biden stood firm with his decision, that’s good, and it is not the time for us to blame each other for the negative effects of said withdrawal… but instead we must implement efforts to evacuate all Americans and allies even after the August 31 deadline. We need to bring back all Americans and allies to the US and Biden’s administration must find a way to work with the Talibans in evacuating the remaining Americans and allies to the US. 

What’s going on? We have to recognize all these problems, find solutions, and implement these solutions to be able to overcome them. But the only way to do it is for us to unite, work as one, not as Republicans and Democrats, but as American citizens!

Dwayne Spradlin, in his Harvard Business Review article said, “Are You Solving the Right Problem?” 

He quoted Albert Einstein: “If I were given one hour to save the planet, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute resolving it.”

Can we use Einstein’s idea in addressing these problems confronting the country today? Well of course, those were wise words, but if we have to heed them when tackling these problems and sufficiently rigorous in defining the problems, we are attempting to solve and articulating why those issues are important… and, maybe we can succeed in solving them. We, however, need to become better at asking the right questions so that they tackle the right problems and have to work together. 

As the saying goes, understanding the problem is half the solution (actually the most important half).

Before we can solve a problem, we need to know exactly what the problem is, and we should put a good amount of thinking and resources into understanding it. And because today’s problems are so complex, we know they can’t be solved by being broken down into specific components. We know the problem and we know the solutions, then, lets implement them properly and judiciously. Again… as one!

Let us remember though that the only real means to achieve a shared understanding of a problem is through dialogue. Unfortunately, in this day and age where hours are equated to cash and naïve simplicity reigns, time spend on understanding problems is viewed as time wasted. If we add up the political component, it’s even more complex, as it is happening now. 

Management, whether government or private, demands action, not talk and collaborative analysis. The kind of meetings that involves debate and discussion are seen as “just talk”. but I believe debate and discussion are necessary to create a shared understanding of a problem.

The next time you’re in a meeting to address a problem, pay attention to how much time is spent discussing or understanding the problem vs. how much time is spent on solutions. 

So, what happens when we don’t understand the problem? When the problem is not well understood, “solutions” only create new problems. In fact, there’s no guarantee the solutions will address the problem at all. Conversely, the more we understand the problem, the more likely we understand the root cause and can create countermeasures so the problem won’t recur.

Understanding the problem is the first step of any problem-solving.

In a nutshell: Understanding the problem is the first step of any problem-solving.(The Project success model – https://www.henricodolfing.com/2018/05/understanding-your-problem-is-half.html

Let’s go for it!

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A veteran journalist in the Philippines and an award-winning journalist in the US. For feedbacks, comments email estiokoelpidio@gmail.com.

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