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.


Rooting Problems

Gardening has been a big part of civilization for over ten thousand years.  Since all of us rely on it to live, it’s hard to overstate how important agriculture is to humanity.

No surprise then that, when a weed or other undesirable growth appears in our garden, we make great efforts to eliminate the problem weed.  We also know that we have to pull it out by the roots, otherwise the problem weed comes back.

Hence the term, getting to the root of a problem.

Business deals with problems all the time.  These problems are very tangible within industry where machines are used and built.  Problems show up in a physical form, and can be annoying, or catastrophic.  Large firms have collapsed because of some problem that wasn’t caught until too late.

For that reason, most companies use a system that actively looks for problems before the customer sees them.  And when that problem shows up, the company starts asking questions.  Who, what, why, when, where, are all part of the mix.  But there is one question that rules them all.

What is the ultimate source of this problem?  What is the root cause?

Some companies ask “why?” as many times as it takes.  Some companies “drill down.”  In all cases, management understands that unless you find the deep reason mistakes are made, they will happen again.  This system works, and the most successful companies adhere to these principles tightly.

Why don’t we do the same thing as people regarding social and behavioral problems?

Pick a problem, any problem.  Abortion.  Gun violence.  Drug use.  Electing dictators.  Confusion over truth and lies.

Now, think about how we currently “handle” the problem in society.  Here in the USA, they are usually ignored, with the barest superficial form of action being taken in order to stave off public unrest.  Until the next time.

No one asks the hard questions, and certainly no one dares go beyond those to even harder questions.

Abortion:  Why does a young woman get pregnant in the first place?  Where is the father?  Where are the other family members?  Will society take care of this child once it’s been born?

Gun Violence:  Why must the entire US population be allowed to carry lethal firearms?  Are the current restrictions sufficient?  (Babies can’t buy guns, and you can’t take them into Congress for some reason.)

Drug Use:  Why are users and their pushers always caught, but never the boss, bosses boss, or higher?  Why are the corporations that ultimately make many of these drugs immune from retribution.  Why can’t low-lethality versions be designed and de-regulated for general use, obviating the need to import deadly versions?  Why are so many people using them anyway?

I don’t want to keep boring you, but you get the point.  Ask questions.  Dig.  Then dig deeper.  You may not like what you find.  But when you eventually pull that weed from your garden, you can rest.  You’ll know it shouldn’t be coming back.