How Problems Arise

I love The Writer’s Almanac. Every day it delivers a lovely poem and bit of literary history. Sometimes, the poem seems to strike right at the heart of something related to meditation or mindfulness, in general. Today is one of those.

Meditation trains the heart and mind to see what is and not spend so much time cooking up problems. The poet, Keven McCaffrey knows that sometimes, problems come from; “…out of thin air, out of nothing.”

No Problem

by Kevin McCaffrey

The problem is there is no problem and
the problem solvers have nothing to do
so they start creating problems out
of thin air, out of nothing. Then the problem
is not to see that there are big problems
everywhere and it is woe unto
him or her who cannot see or who will
not acknowledge the problems—they become
part of the problem, a big part of it,
their apathy or obstinacy holding
progress back until they are educated
to the fact that, one, there are big problems,
and, two, if you are not part of solving
them then you represent the problem
the problem solvers have been talking about
all along. So you see now how it is:
there is no problem worse than no problem.

“No Problem” by Kevin McCaffrey from Laughing Cult. © Four Winds Press, 2014. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)

And as for real problems, a little meditation, a little mindfulness, will go a long way to helping us all sort that out more wisely, more compassionately.


Author: Hillary Johnson

Improvisational documentary and fine art photographer.

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