Problems don’t just ‘go away’

Published 8:22 pm Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Vince Lombardi was the hard-nosed football coach whose most famous team was the Green Bay Packers. He has been quoted many times about winning and overcoming adversity.
His most popular quote is probably “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” I’m sure there are many people, especially those men and women whose jobs are to win games, who agree wholeheartedly with that quote. There would be lots of others who don’t appreciate that attitude.
I was thinking about problems this morning. Perhaps you have awakened to a few; I know the world has. Vince Lombardi says this about problems, “People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society.”
Lombardi seems to be saying something that is simple. He recognizes that there will be problems and the way to win over problems is to work together. Do we know what working together means anymore?
Sometimes it seems as if we feel that if we talk long enough or deny long enough, our problems will disappear. I’m not sure that dog will hunt.
I am re-reading one of Steven Ambrose’s great books about World War II. The book recalls the heroic actions of Easy Company, the 506th Airborne Division of the US Army. This team of men and boys exemplified the very meaning of Lombardi’s quote about people working together to win over their problems.
If you like books about World War II, you will enjoy this book entitled Band of Brothers.
Easy Company saw one problem and it was huge. The problem was Hitler and his desire to kill all who would prevent his effort to dominate the world. The problem was huge and simple.
It was named Hitler. He was a killer and the only answer to that problem was to defeat him. He wasn’t going away.
In general, problems don’t just go away. Problems have to be faced. They may seem small and insignificant as they begin, like a car’s engine that stalls every now and then. Just keep ignoring the problem and, one day or night, the engine will simply stop and where will you be when that happens?
It seems every day, now, this group of Islamic terrorists known as ISIS does something more horrific than the day before. Their evil band has grown in number from a few hundred to tens of thousands.
No country in Europe or the Middle East seems to be exempt. I would call them a problem and not just a little one.
I don’t believe they are going away. Problems don’t do that.
I have a friend who doesn’t like to talk about negative things. Neither do I.
I’d much prefer the Good News. He even asks, “What does all of our talk do to change things?” He has a point.
Just talk has never solved one problem. Way back in WW II, Easy Company didn’t jump out of planes to talk. They understood there was a problem.
They knew the name of the problem and, as a team, they took care of the problem. The Company many have been nicknamed “Easy,” but their work was far from easy. It was courageous and determined.
ISIS has not been shy about their intentions and their actions are for all to see. They are a modern problem in need of a team-oriented solution. Are we courageous and determined enough to find that solution? Are we even a team?

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