Whole and Part

Just as a maze
can be more easily navigated
when we see its whole
—from above it—
than when we see it partially
—from within it—,
when we see our problem in its whole,
the solution
can often become obvious.

Then perhaps
the first step
to seeing the whole
was to realize
that we were seeing it
from within.

That we,
our perspectives,
were a part
of the problem.

Problem vs Paradox

1 + 1 = ?
is a problem


“This is a lie.”
is a paradox,

a problem often implies
the method—
in this case
—with which to solve
the problem,

while a paradox
does not.

If you mistake
a paradox
for a problem,
the more time you spend
applying the method
you think
will solve the problem,
the more time
you may spend
staying stuck.

An Alternative to Problem Solving

Most of us were trained
to problem solve.

Many also assume—
that problem solving
is the best form of help
we can offer.

Such training and assumption
can serve us well
and poorly.

Because sometimes—
despite our best intentions—
problem solving
makes things worse.

If you’ve been accused
of being selfish,
lacking empathy,
or not caring,
despite your best efforts
to help your spouse
by solving their problem
you know what I mean.

When problem solving
makes things worse,
may we return
to our intention to help,
so as to learn
new choices.

that are actually helpful.
that improve things.
other than
problem solving.