Solution Refusal

Cartoon: Theresa McCracken

Stupid= having or showing a great lack of intelligence or common sense

(Source: Google, New Oxford American Dictionary)

Wrong.

Stupidity is more common than that. True stupidity occurs when one is presented with a problem and instead of using the correct solution and moving on having learned, one simply refuses the answer.

Example 1:

A mentally ill person has been living with symptoms of disorder for years. When asked to submit oneself for diagnosis and treatment, they explain how they mistrust medicine, doctors, and the entire health profession. They swear that these “professionals” don’t know what they’re doing or that what they really do is make everything worse.

Example 2:

A physically ill person starts showing symptoms of viral infection (sounds familiar) and instead of seeking help, they claim that they are fine. That it will all be over soon. But the symptoms get worse. Finally they admit themselves to a hospital. Once they are offered life saving treatment, they refuse. Claiming it just cannot be what health professionals are calling it. It has to be something else. 

Common, right? (Too common.)

Let’s name the problem: Solution Refusal

I know, sounds ridiculous. Probably because you enjoy puzzles and can’t help but celebrate once an answer is finally found for 5 Across in your daily crossword, hate losing at chess, but have enough willpower to let the young ones win at Go Fish. Even if you were looking. 

But the truth is, you are not universal. You are not the only character on the stage, and no story comes without it’s tragedies. Sadly, most of them subscribe to the denial of the answer to problems that, in all probability, they hold dear. 

Think of losing yourself in a problem and not having enough information to find your way to the solution. Then, you lose touch with the source of the information required to solve it. As a result, you succumb to Learned Helplessness and give up. Then you get older. You aren’t reading much (who does that?). Then someone challenges your paradigm. It’s too much. You lose your grip even further and lash out at your perceived enemy who has only come with the required information you lost long ago.

Be careful of the “ways” you get stuck in. They can end up making you sick longer than you should be. Can leave you trapped without necessary intel that could lead to the solution you’ve been craving. Pick up chess. Pick up a puzzle and celebrate it’s completion. Oh, and sponge off of the information a health professional tells you. They’re easy to find, just call the hospital. Don’t use 911 unless you have a legitimate emergency. There are numbers to hospitals that aren’t directed to emergency dispatch. They’re busy people so don’t call too trivially.

But what am I saying? You know all of this. Don’t deny it.

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