An Elegant Solution

elegant solutions
Elegant Solutions

What kind of problems have you resolved through finding elegant solutions?

“We could say: An elegant solution is something that easily resolves, a seemingly complicated problem or puzzle, in the least possible number of moves”

Throughout history many clever people have come up with elegant solutions to difficult problems. Consider the many modern household appliances, that have made such easy work of things that were previously, labour intensive. For further example, consider our modern sewerage systems, and even the humble toilet, that we now take for granted. Previous to these inventions, we had to tolerate the diseased stench of untreated sewerage on our streets, and in our rivers.

Further elegant solutions were found, once it was understood, how and why disease spread so easily. The chlorination and fluoridation of our water systems is now commonly accepted and understood.

We humans are very good at finding easy solutions to modern day problems. With that said though, do all of our solutions actually solve problems, or do they just apply a surface layer that covers up the true issue? Many of our solutions do just that. The problems mount when there’s commercial gain to be had with surface layer solutions.

“How would it be, if along with the simple invention of the u-bend in our toilets, no one had bothered to link all of these toilets to a modern sewerage system? How would we cope if it just continued to end up on the streets as usual?”

So obviously, we did need to tie up several things, for our modern sewerage systems to function successfully. The same goes with household appliances; without the discovery of electricity, they simple wouldn’t have come about. We needed the elegant understandings, of how to tame electricity, for the invention of things like washing machines and vacuum cleaners to come about. In the same way, we must ‘tie up’ many of our ideas, to create a lasting effect.

“Much of what we humans do isn’t quite so elegant and is simply disguised as such”

Easy examples of this, would come in detailing how we tend to chase our tail, with so many of our problems. We’re often closing the gate well after the horse has bolted.

Much of the mental illness we’re currently experiencing could easily fit into this bracket. Pills and potions are all well and good, however, we do have the problem of ongoing commercial gain to deal with here. Once our sewerage system was thought out and then built by the Victorians, it was done for the masses and it was made to last. Improving the quality of peoples lives and indeed keeping them alive was the main concern.

We could say this about antidepressants. They improve peoples lives. Recent studies have confirmed the effectiveness of antidepressants and do indeed improve the quality of peoples lives. However, this must be seen, as one of those surface layer solutions. Surely we can’t just go on taking pills all our lives, we must find a long term, elegant solution, to depression.

Some might ask: Why? Why can’t we just be as Huxley’s Brave New World and take pills every day? My answer to this is dependency. It seems that the human race has ensnared itself with dependency in so many ways. The more dependent we are on others for our well being, be this mental health or indeed just simple happiness, the more enslaved we become.

“Freedom is the name of the game here. Without sounding paranoid, human beings are very adept at enslaving each other”

One of the reasons for this is to create the illusion of power. It’s a human trait many of us have become blind to. Another reason for dependence and slavery is financial gain. There’s no doubt the manufacturers of the antidepressants – found to be the most effective in the recent study mentioned – are currently rubbing their hands together with glee.

Often though the enslavement of people happens because it’s just human nature to do so. Think of ants, how they enslave and farm the aphids that produce a nectar, they simply can’t get enough of. It’s in their’s and our nature to use others for gain. We must ‘tie up’ these understanding and never forget each individual element. We must never forget the unpalatable aspects to human nature.

“The elegant solution, that now comes to mind, is that of uncomplicated and easily understood information”

Much information is confused and convoluted through it being overworked. Once a solution is found we often seem unable to just settle with that and then move on. We constantly come back to things that need no improvement whatsoever. In the process we add confusion and reduce the power of the original understanding. How is it we can’t reinvent electricity? Because we didn’t invent it in the first place. We didn’t invent the human mind yet seem intent on adding chemicals that only add confusion to a problem easily resolved.

Clear, easily understood information can resolve problems of the mind. Allow me to give you an example.

We’re told there’s no single cause of depression. It can occur for a variety of reasons and has many different triggers. These triggers then go on to effect the chemical balance of the brain. Medication is often used to redress this imbalance.

“Ultimately, whatever the trigger, that starts a downward spiral into depression, we must accept that it’s our mind doing it”

We must take ownership of the cause before we can deal with it. Once we can say: ‘Okay I know I’m creating this,’ we’re then better able to ask how. We must ask: ‘How am I doing this?’ What thoughts and mechanisms are creating my depression?

The loop we’ve found ourselves in, could be treated with medication, however, does the medication deal with our tendency to dwell or worry? Unlikely. What will deal with this, is taking responsibility through reducing dependency, never through increasing it. Being a slave to our thoughts creates depression, as does being a slave to the beliefs and expectations of those around you, and society as a whole. Escape comes in the form of elegant solutions that are easily understood.

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