The traditional approach to problem-solving has very often been focused on mitigating the symptoms of a larger problem. We might hear the term “band-aid solutions” to connote a remedy that covers over only the visible signs of a problem.
In geopolitics today, we can see something such as the war on terror as having created more future problems through heavy-handed tactics and short-term solutions that didn’t take into account the multi-faceted dynamics of the region’s competing groups. We now see the very stark results of this kind of approach in the turmoil in the Middle East as well as the expanding refugee crisis in Europe and beyond.
Yet, there is a need to act to solve problems in our world today and to work together to do so. So what approach might we take to do this without creating more harmful, unintended consequences?
It may be instructive to look at the traditional Eastern approach to medicine, which looks not to the symptoms but to the norm or the ideal state to then offer a remedy. Understanding that the body is an intricately connected whole, the search is not to immediately relieve the pain but to locate the root of the problem.
This idea, in part, explains the appeal of working first from an ideal, a vision of peace and prosperity – and understanding the ideal conditions for both – to create innovative solutions to our world’s greatest challenges. Understanding the root causes of problems provides a way to view the problem from a wider angle and leads to more holistic solutions that can prevent bigger problems down the road.
This explains the approach the Global Peace Foundation is taking in Korea in promoting a Korean Dream and in Nigeria in its One Family Under God campaign. While each society faces unique circumstances and extremely different challenges, working towards a common vision and the universal principles and shared values that come with it offers inclusive, innovative solutions that are making a difference.
Come be a part of that difference.