Problem Spotting

There is a big difference between problem spotting and problem solving.

John C Maxwell

I would like to think of Singapore as a nation of problem solvers. But the reality is that a small group of people are the ones focused on solving while the majority are just spotting problems and trying to broadcast them. Why have we generated such a culture? This is in part because we have somehow given ourselves a social compact that the government will solve problems and the job of the people is compliance.

And this implied transaction plays itself over and over again when people complain about various different things in society and yet simply sit back and wait for things to happen. There’s this sense that “I’ve played my part, I’ve complied by the rules of the game and so now can you please give me my share of the [fill in the blank] that I deserve.”

So problem solving becomes someone else’s responsibility whereas our responsibility is to comply with the ideas that eventually comes along. One can see how this narrative disempowers us all and sucks the life out of us. Little wonder our mental health takes a big toll. Same on the end of those who are holding on the heavy burden of problem solving. Part of the challenge of this mental health crisis we live within will involve dealing with this culture of problem-spotting we’ve generated.