By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Friday, May 30, 2014

"Over-Solving"

It's the wrong approach, and yet we do it all of the time.

1. You want a good education, and so the obsession is to kill oneself to get into an elite college where you will likely be unhappy. But you expertly pretend to be happy to delude yourself and others.

2. You are lonely, so you go the promiscuous route. The solution becomes self-destructive and creates more loneliness. The friendship alternative is not even considered realistic.

3. You want a nice house, so you go for the "mansion" when there are many modest and delightful alternatives.

4. You want people to be, let us say, more Catholic, so you become a theological and canonical policeman and are frustrated when people are not moved or persuaded. Only agape persuades and moves.

These are just a few examples of our tendency to "over-solve" and to end up with the opposite of what we seek. Self-restraint is a better route. Another way to say it: we let the apparently perfect destroy the real good.



(Image in public domain)