Removing Roots

The prior two posts compared social problems to roots in our garden.  Tools for finding roots are well established in business, so we can use those to find the roots of our social problems.

Defining the root was a big part of the last post, and it goes a long way to solving the problem.  Getting to know the entire root is important, as every gardener knows.  Leave a little bit of the root, and the weed grows back.  But you can’t leave even a little bit.  Gardeners have all sorts of tools to remove the root, like this one.

Great for removing the root cause from your garden.

Doing this in society is going to require a different set of tools.  What we’re trying to do is start a revolution.  To do that we need to know as much about the root cause as we can.

In society, the root cause will always be people.  Who are they?  What motivates them?  How can we move them the most with the least amount of effort?  What events can capture their imagination and convert them into forces for change, at the root level?  Do they even agree with us that there is a problem?

This is how you start your revolution.  A drastic change in thinking must begin somewhere.  And effectively it always begins with a single person.  From there it will progress one person at a time.

If your cause is just and true, then it will grow.  Your root cause elements will accumulate, and like the gardening tool, eventually force that weed from the garden.

For those who prefer to pull the leaves off of weeds and leave the roots, and complain when they return, move on.  They like to complain, but don’t want the extra effort of removing the weed forever.

Remember, choose your battles.  Come the revolution, there will be many battles.


Root Cause Revolutions

Last post talked about using a root cause analysis to find the true source of our problems.  Tired of electing dictators? who label criticism as “fake news?”   Frustrated because rich pampered playboys get to be Supreme Court judges? even when the women they’ve assaulted confront them?

You’re not alone.  But yelling in their face or complaining to your friends doesn’t solve the problem.  In fact it only makes it worse.  So what should you do?

Dig.  Dig deeper.  Why did this happen?  What created these monsters in the first place?  How are they fed?  Why are they fed?  Who benefits from having dictators as president and rapists as judges?

It’s not going to be an easy job.  I’ve done it, and it’s painful.  And you might not like the answers.  But getting to the answer is an answer in itself.  But like any hard task, you have to remind yourself why you must continue.

To start a revolution.  To change things for the better.  To make this a better world for your children, for their children, for any children.  Even for the rest of the planet.

By asking yourself why, by getting the answers to why, you will find out the exact point where the revolution must begin.  It doesn’t matter if you are thinking about women’s rights, immigration, gun control, or even protecting wetlands.  It all begins at some deep point, and that’s where the revolution must begin.

Last post explained why we call it “root cause” analysis.  Because agriculture is so important for us, when we remove a weed, we know we have to remove it from the root.  And not just part of the root, but the entire root.

The same thing applies to our social problems.  Find the root.  Define the root.  Outline the entire root.

Good job.  No matter what the problem, you can find the root and define it.

Now, there’s only one more step on the way to making this a better world.

Stay tuned.


Riots and Revolutions

Our art museum is putting on this excellent display of pre-romantic paintings that were used to record historical events.  Journalism in painting.

Painting is a story told visually, and because the artist is mostly in control, a lot of what they are thinking can come through.

When it’s historical in nature, we also get a glimpse into the big behavioral picture.

There’s this one painting showing a citadel in the background, and a riot going on in front of the locked gates.  (I can’t find it! When I do, I’ll include a link here.)

The caption beside the painting notes that during the years of 1634-35 there was a great famine, and the ruler allowed bread to be sold outside the citadel gates at fixed prices.  The hungry population was so angry that a riot ensued.  Because of the famine, almost 5% of the population perished.  That’s one person out of every twenty.

That was enough to cause the ruler to change the laws regarding land ownership, basically giving more power to the people.

Here’s what we can learn.

It took a great toll among the people before the ruling class decided they needed to shift the distribution of wealth.  Lots of people had to die miserable deaths before those in power would change the system.

Today, we also have increasing wealth inequalities.  How far will the current levels of pain go before our governments address the pain of the people?  History, at least this little oil-painted piece, suggests that about 5% of the population will have to perish first.

Is this the best way to figure this out?  Absolutely not.  But it’s a start.

And as far as wealth distribution is concerned, isn’t it better we start now?

Aren’t art museums fun?

Thanks for reading.