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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %PROBLEMS SOLVE KINDS ALIENATION CONFLICT RESOLVE 900126 Our difficulties in solving our most serious problems are often rooted in the various kinds of alienation which inhibit creative problem solving. The first steps towards creatively dealing with such problems is to reduce the alienation which stands in the way of creative cooperation. Cooperation is essential in solving our most difficult problems. Cooperation is impossible for people who are alienated, for cooperation depends upon meaningful dialogue. To be meaningful, dialogue must be both accurate and felt as helpfully significant by the participants in the dialogue. People engaged in disintegrative conflict may communicate accurately their mutual animosity; but that is not the basis for creative and mutually helpful cooperation. People who are indifferent towards each other may communicate accurately the details of the day's weather; but that is not the basis for creative and mutually helpful cooperation. In the presence of alienation meaningful dialogue is virtually impossible; and so also is the meaningful cooperation which is essential to coping meaningfully with our most troublesome problems. The troublesome problems we have with abortion, prostitution, rape, AIDS, broken homes, lost childhoods, addiction and codependency, teen-age pregnancy, sex discrimination, sex education, etc. will not be dealt with in creative ways so long as people are alienated from each other because they emphasize different, but complementary values. The difficult problems we have with the arms race and the threat of nuclear war will not be dealt with in creative ways so long as military, political and business leaders of enemy nations are alienated from each other through differences in language, culture, values and history about which they are ignorant. The major problems we have between religious groups will not be dealt with creatively so long as members of those groups are alienated through ignorance of their complementary perspectives on the meaning of life and the best way to live meaningfully together on an astronomically tiny planet. The persistent problems we have in science education will not be transcended so long as technically sophisticated scientists and personally mature teachers are alienated from each other through ignorance of and lack of appreciation for what each other might offer to a creative and cooperative effort to resolve the crisis in science education. Developers and ecologists will not be able to cooperate in dealing creatively with limited resources on our tiny planet so long as they are alienated from each other and are ignorant of the complementary values and ideals which the others serve and offer. In each situation the first steps towards creative problem solving are steps towards transcending the alienation which stands in the way of meaningful cooperation with those people who are regarded as the enemy. So long as the focus is upon winning a war against the enemy, there will be no meaningful dialogue, no meaningful understanding, no meaningful cooperation, and no meaningful problem solving. There may, however, be much effort, sophistication, technology, energy, power, and destruction; preceded by and followed by much personal and communal disintegration. Many of our most troublesome problems are not truly problems; they are dilemmas which technocrats insist on treating as problems. Such "problems" will not be dealt with wisely until technocrats and healthy people of integrity learn to engage in open and honest dialogue. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================