Problems and Solutions

June 29th, 2015 by Patricia Jehle Leave a reply »


In light of the past two weeks, I am going to get a little more personal with this blog. A friend shared on FB yesterday that she was reading and came across a quote by Richard Rohr that we are all part of the problem. I agree.


We are all part of the problem.


The world has lots of problems: global warming, racism (specifically noted in the USA this past month, but all over the world), attacks in Tunisia and other places where attacks on human beings have occurred, and economic crises (in Greece, for example). Just read the morning newspaper and unless we are of ostrich-orientation, we see the mess we are in.


It is easy to blame someone or something else: the government, the other country’s government, “those people”, whoever they are. “It’s not my fault!” is one of the first phrases we learn to say as a child. But as a parent, I know that it really takes more than one party to cause a fight, a problem. We are all either part of the problem by inaction, by action or by collusion. I come from a faith tradition that prays to be forgiven for what we have done and for what we have left undone. For me, this is key. What more could I have done is a question that is of ultimate importance.


Even in coaching this question, I call it the “what more” question is imperative. “What can I do?” is good, but “What more can I do?” often brings a breakthrough.


Self-reflection and integrity are keys to the solution.


When I am honest with myself I hopefully can see how I could possibly be part of the problem. But it is hard to get past my own self-defense mechanisms alone. Thus, it is in community that we find out our blind spots, see where we are part of the problem and then can grow.


But this kind of learning only happens if we are willing to subject ourselves to reflection. Many people reflect in a coaching relationship, but of course there are other ways to find a reflecting community. So, I personally allow myself to be with someone or in a group where I become vulnerable, I acknowledge that I might possibly be part of the problem, and I listen to first of all to myself, but also to others, especially to those with whom I might disagree.


The listening to others is also very important for the reflection process. We often only read and listen to opinions and ideas that corroborate our own thoughts, ideas and opinions. But if we do this, how are we going to grow? Thus, integrity is also part of our solution. I need to check out what “those other people” think, feel, believe, need and their reasoning for their actions with an open mind and heart.


My motivations may be pure, but maybe they are not.


Finally, I need to really check my own motivations for my thoughts, actions, and inaction. How much is self-serving going into what I do and don’t do? I have a friend who once said (in a very heated meeting) that when we point a finger at someone else, we are actually point four fingers back at ourselves. So, I must be honest with myself, as much as I am able.


These activities and thoughts I have written may not change the world, but I hope they bring each of us closer together and start a conversation that is healthy and helpful.

When you are interested, check out my coaching website:



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