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Reply #49: Your points are *very* well taken... [View All]

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ljm2002 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 10:20 AM
Response to Reply #31
49. Your points are *very* well taken...
...there are indeed structural issues that have happened within our lifetimes (well, some of our lifetimes :-) ), and the "feel-good stories" can work against change in some of the ways that you point out.

However. We are where we are now, and many of the problems faced by people in these situations are urgent. So rather than discouraging those who are providing short-term relief in whatever form, one might for example say, "That's great, but we also need people working on the larger problem which is: ...". In other words: I'm sure you are also old enough to remember this popular formulation: "It's not either/or, it's both/and." We don't have to do one or the other thing, we can do both: we must do what we can to alleviate current and short-term problems, while working on future and long-term solutions.

It gets back to a fundamental issue that has often struck me as strange, namely, the tendency of people to claim that we should not treat symptoms, but rather must find the fundamental causes and treat those. This irritates me to no end because it sounds perfectly plausible, yet it is far, far from the truth about how we can and should deal with many things. Basically it is a fundamentally flawed premise, because there are many situations where you can and must deal with symptoms first: if your child has a 105 degree fever, do you hold off on doing anything because you don't know the cause of the fever? Of course not, that's insane! The fever can kill the child! What you do while investigating the cause, is you LOWER THE FEVER and SAVE THE CHILD'S LIFE so they can actually live to benefit from it when you get to the root cause and fix it.

Anyway, again I'd like to reiterate: when we are looking at ways to help in whatever arena, it is not necessarily either/or, it can also be both/and.
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