The Crux of the Issue

I have a problem with my house. On the South side, there is an overhang at the 1st story. These soffits have vents to allow moisture to seep out of the rafters. The only problem, with a strong storm with South winds, rain pours into these vents and then causes dripping through the dry wall in the ceiling. We’ve talked about having someone come and fix the drywall in the ceiling and repaint. But without fixing the soffits first, the problem will always return. The unsightly and troublesome problem won’t got away without fixing the Crux of the Issue.

We complain about separating children from parents when they cross the border without using proper ports of entry and procedures. However, the real problem is why are they leaving Mexico in the first place? Let me let you in on a little secret. Most people love their home and their homelands. They were born there, they know the culture, they know the language. If it was their choice, they wouldn’t leave. But when drug cartels threaten your life, when they buy out politicians and police, when you have no one to protect you or stand up for you, then you have no choice but to leave. For the uninitiated, the drug cartels routinely hang politicians and police who don’t comply from bridges. Its not a nice scene as you are driving kids to school or to work. If Mexico was safe and prosperous, we wouldn’t be talking about people entering this evil land we call the U.S.A.

Ditto from Mexico. We wouldn’t be talking about border crossings into Europe if Syria and other war torn countries didn’t have sectarian violence, genocide, and truly evil governments. People think the U.S. is bad. Well, you really don’t study other societies very well. Women in Saudi Arabia made the news recently because they were permitted to go to a soccer game. Not long ago, they were allowed to drive a car. Yet people in the U.S. protest more nuanced issues of privilege when other countries don’t even have the most basic of rights. A peaceful homeland means people don’t have to leave their homes. That’s the Crux of the Issue.

Chicago Gun Violence:
Yeah, I’m going to say things you don’t want to hear. It comes down to the basic family unit. I’m not going to try to persuade you as to what family unit means. But if it looks like my mother and father, then so be it. My parents love me, they love each other, they took me to church every Sunday, they taught me right and wrong, they were responsible to their jobs and to raising children, they encouraged me in my schoolwork and athletics, and I live out what they taught me today. I’ve been married for 29 years and they’ve been married more than 50 years. So we must have done something right. When kids don’t know right from wrong, when they don’t have role models in their own homes, when they haven’t been given a code to live by, then they become irresponsible teenagers and adults. You can blame governments, school systems, poverty, lack of jobs, etc…yet there are people who rise above all of that. When you start with a home full of love and respect, you have a much better chance at life. When there are consequences to your actions from a very young age, then you learn there are consequences later in life too. Only those consequences are more serious. We complain about jail overcrowding and all this other non-sense. But instead, lets focus on raising our children to be responsible adults. Lets focus on not being friends to kids but parents. Parents who love children and guide them with a firm hand. All this tangential stuff flies out the window when you do these things.

As a scientist, we often study cause and effect. We follow the scientific method. That is:
1. Observe a phenomenon
2. Ask questions
3. Develop a hypothesis
4. Test the hypothesis

I’m sure you get all of this. But what most don’t know is how to create the test. When you ask why does a behavior take place, you include a null hypothesis. This asks "What if the cause isn’t responsible for the effect?" You also suggest alternative hypotheses. That is, what if the effect is caused by something other than what we’ve hypothesized?

In life and social science, we forget to ask these questions and truly test the causes. Instead, we get mired in emotion. We see images on TV and make suppositions without knowing anything about the facts. We see the latter part of a Facebook Live video not knowing what led to that incident. We go into everything with rabid emotion without studying the facts. And the people who need to know this most won’t even read this far.

Find the Crux of the Issue. Study the Cause & Effect. Keep an open mind to the solutions. And, most of all, don’t yap your gums about something you know nothing about. Activism is futile. Instead, if you want to make a change, do responsible things to elicit change. You don’t need violence or yelling. Instead, make a difference. Give money to causes. Give until it hurts. Because talk is cheap. And emotions are deceiving.

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