Humans, it seems, are prone to try to solve problems in every way except for from the root.

Tired? Coffee.

Out of shape? Fad diet (if not diet pill).

Not ready to parent a kid? Contraception.

No sex in your marriage? Erotica, or Viagra.

We are on a mission to live one way without experiencing the reasonable consequences of living that way. We like a certain lifestyle, but we dislike the results of the lifestyle, so we create ways to obliterate the results. We are enabled to refer to symptoms as problems, and to deny that the root of the problem is a problem at all.

Which totally disregards the purpose of symptoms.

A body doesn’t use symptoms to tell you to make the symptoms stop. It uses symptoms to say, “Stop treating me this way.” 

A tired body doesn’t need coffee. It needs sleep.

An out of shape body doesn’t need a diet. It needs a lifestyle adjustment.

A person not ready for kids doesn’t need contraception. He or she needs abstinence (and perhaps only periodically).

A sexless marriage doesn’t need erotica (and according to a sex therapist professor of mine, it might not need Viagra, either.). It might just need communication.

In other words: Lack of coffee doesn’t result in tired. Not sleeping does. Lack of diet or diet pill doesn’t result in out of shapeness. An unhealthy lifestyle does. Lack of contraception doesn’t result in babies. Sex does. Lack of erotica doesn’t result in sexless marriage. Lots of circumstances do, including but not limited to absence of communication.

But avoiding the roots of problems doesn’t result in joy.

It just stunts our growth.