There is a problem when we apply short term solutions to long term problem.  We think short term solutions will have short term consequences.  But what happens, many times, is that we forget that our short term solution should have been replaced by a long term solution.  We forget to stop doing our short term solution and thus run into bad problems later down the road.

For instance, you are getting ready to go to work in the morning, you are running late.  As you are running out the door, you remember you need to eat lunch that day.  You decide you will eat at the 7-11 next door during your lunch break.  Long term problem:  Hunger.  Lateness.  Hurrying in the morning.  Short term solution:  Eat at 7-11 for lunch.  “Houston, we have a problem” (apollo-13?).

If you are chronically late, chronically hungry at lunch time, chronically rushing, then what was suppose to be your one time event of eating a hot dog and slushee at 7-11 then becomes a lifetime of unhealthy lunches.  Your intentions were fine but your actions were unhealthy.  Dare I say that your lack of deciding to change is actually slow suicide due to ignorance, laziness, and apathy?  Whoa.  Too much?

Now think about gastric bypass.  Short term solution to a long term problem.  Not that it isn’t good for some people but many people go home lighter, don’t change any habits, and reap the consequences.

I have been reading the book “Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan. Very interesting book, and though I am only on page 80 of 400 and something, I am very disturbed.  If the book is true, which seems very likely and probable, then, we Americans have been applying short term solutions since mid 1900s to long term agriculture problems and are now reaping the consequences.  People are greedy (longterm problem).  We need to eat (long term).  Corn holds up well.  We make tons and tons of corn (that have to be altered in order to grow more closer together), it’s cheap so to get rid of the excess we feed it to animals who are hungry (long term) whose stomachs can’t handle this corn and thus have medical issues.  We keep feeding the corn to them because we can and they keep eating cuz they are hungry.  We keep eating their meat because we like it.  We have health problems and have superbugs (strong bacteria) because of this altered animal meat and then we use  antibiotics which are a short term solution many times because the underlying cause is not dealt with. You might not have understood any of what I just wrote but you would if you read the book. Maybe.

Change the subject.  Man has lust problem. Long term.  Satisfies lust short term.  Eventually, because he doesn’t deal with it and only gives short term satisfaction to long term problem, loses wife, family, gets STDs, gets AIDS, and dies.  Ok so that’s dramatic but not impossible to comprehend.

Change the subject.  I hurt my toe.  I put a bandaid on it.  It hurts so I numb it with Lidocaine.  It’s gross looking.  I clean it. It turns different colors but I continue to numb it, cover it, deny it, etc.  It falls off and the gangrene eats my entire leg and I die.  Why?  Because I had an infection!  Because I didn’t want to deal with it!  Because I was ashamed!  Because I wanted to deal with my problem with short term solutions and thus worsen the problem.

DEAL WITH YOUR PROBLEMS!  Deal with chronic issues with a long term solution.  Denial is for wimps.  You have a problem.  Look at it.  Honestly.  Get real with yourself.  Before you have problems that will only be solved with really painful solutions.

🙂 I am preaching to the choir I am sure.