The Soviets are invading! What do we do?

In 1939, in the middle of World War II, the Soviet military entered the small eastern European nation of Latvia en route to Germany. These troops, just as other Soviet troops at the time, were low on supplies including ammunition and food, and the vice-Consul at the U.S. State Department in the Latvian embassy wired Washington D.C. requesting permission to fly the Stars and Stripes over the Red Cross food warehouse. If our flag was flying over the supply depot, more than likely, the troops wouldn’t enter the building to loot it for food and other goodies. The good folks in D.C. responded with “no precedent exists for such action”.

<insert a few choice words here>

No precedent for such action? The vice-consul climbed the flagpole on the Red Cross building, secured our flag to it and wires  the State Department with, “As of this date, I have established precedent.”

He didn’t sit back, whine and throw his hands in the air and watch Soviet troops loot the hard work of the Red Cross. He took control of the situation and devised a solution.

Two words describe his feat: Solution Oriented.

Seeing problems right in front of your face doesn’t require any special skill. We can sit back and identify problems with our political system, our local place of worship, and our community, but that is all we are doing: identifying problems.

It was once said, “Whoever amongst you sees anything objectionable, let him change it with his hand, if he is not able, then with his tongue, and if he is not even able to do so, then with his heart.”

Old buildings in Latvia

It takes a special sort of person to identify the problem and attempt some action to fix the issue. For those with the least amount of time, completing a feedback card or speaking out against an issue may be feasible, and for those with plenty of time, planning a protest or speaking at city-council may be feasible.

There are many ways we can all get involved and try to be become solution-oriented. It may not be easy at first, but trying feels much better than not doing anything and as with everything else, once we do it a few times it becomes easier and easier until being solution oriented is ingrained in your system.

How would the world be, if we were all a people who tried to fix problems instead of complaining about them?

How would your world be, if you were one of those people?

I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. I will not refuse to do the something I can do. – Helen Keller


  1. Randy S.N.
    Feb 15, 2010

    Any quote by Helen Keller is a great quote. I wish we had more ‘solution-oriented’ people in this country. Congress is falling apart, california, new mexico, and arizona are going bankrupt, and all the media can do is gossip.

    I’d be surprised if they’ve ever tried?


    Shariq Reply:

    I wish they were more solution oriented as well! I’ll be writing another post in a couple of days about how to become solution oriented. Maybe you can pass it along to your local congressman :) .


  2. Missy Gal
    Feb 16, 2010

    good post. we can definitely be more solution-oriented around this guy


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