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Social Problems are People Problems

We've become a nation that loves to focus on the negative. Problems are given more attention than solutions. It is easier (and certainly quicker) to shake one's head in despair than to roll up one's sleeves to change things. Let's face it, people like to complain.
     There are at least two sides to every issue. When these sides are in conflict, the tension between them dominates the airwaves, distracting us from finding real solutions. The result is immobility.
    Somehow we have to get our priorities straight. So often the factor that is missing from our understanding is the human factor. We prefer terminology that removes the complexity of dealing with human beings. Take the economy, for instance. What is the economy but the way people trade and barter? When we talk about economics, we imagine money flying here and there of its own accord, as if the market had a life of its own. This is patently wrong. The market is made up of people making choices.
    Crime statistics represent the number of illegal acts perpetrated by criminals, along with the quantity of victims - people once again.
    Business down-sizing translates into people losing their jobs.
    Tax increases come out of people's pockets.
    The profits made by HMO's result in fewer medical services to people in need.
    Who are all these people? Us! When we remove us from the equation, is it any wonder that the same old problems never get resolved?
    Let's focus on the central issues for a change:

    It's not always about the economy.
    —But it is always about relationships.

    It's not about law.
    —It's about morality (which is very different from law).

    It's not about one ethnicity competing with another.
    —It's about the human family living together in peace and harmony.

    It's not about broken homes versus intact families.
    —It's about loving and supportive parents, and respectful children.

    It's not about school prayer.
    —It's about sustaining your own personal relationship with God, for the betterment of the world.

    It's not about abortion alone.
    —It's about unwanted children, teenage pregnancies, parental neglect, and the coming scourge of over population.

    It's not about which political party is more adept with slandering the other.
    —It's about a government that functions for the people, unimpeded by the personal ambitions of our own leaders.

    It's not about hatred between the races.
    —It's about fostering love within a context of freedom and equality.

    It's not about religion.
    —It's about people who want to practice their religion without being persecuted.

    It's not about who wins the presidency.
    —It's about the quality of life that America offers its citizens, and the integrity that we exhibit as citizens of the world.

    It's not even about family values.
    —It's about human values, within the family, and outside the family. Separate the two, and you invite the kind of schizophrenic society that we suffer from today.

    It's not about the Spotted Owl.
    —It's about the survival of our natural environment, so that the planet will continue to be hospitable to human life.

    It's not about big government versus small government.
    —It's about good government.

    It's not about ridiculous tabloids, exercising their Constitutional rights.
    —It's about the greed and moral sickness that urge publishers to print garbage; it's about the values of people who pay them to do so.

Our problems are complex because people are complex. But people can change. They can choose to make better decisions. They can partake more fully in the political process and insist on better government. Despite all our complaining and despair, we are the ones who ultimately keep things the way they are.
    The power is in our hands.

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