Sunday, June 26, 2016

Guest blogger Richard L. Evans: All Our Problems Are Over


Has anyone else noticed that in the last few years all our problems
have disappeared? I'm not talking about the economy or the war on
terrorism or homelessness or social injustice. I'm certainly not
talking about the proliferation of TV "reality" shows or the direct
link of money with politics. But all our problems are gone. I don't
mean our troubles, of course—just our problems. All our problems have
become "issues." The word "problem" has virtually vanished from our
language. The only time I've heard it recently was in the phrase: "You
got a problem with that?"

I'm not sure what to do. I was beginning to deal with the problems in
my life when—"whoosh"—no more problems. Now I have to start again,
dealing with issues. I recently rewrote my will. I wanted it to be
current with my changing financial situation. My new will says I will
leave certain things of earthly value to my "issue." It seems the
term, issue, in legal language refers to one's children—both natural
and adopted. I've known for years that my "issue" were chief among my
problems. You've undoubtedly heard, "insanity is hereditary—you get it
from your children." I have legal confirmation.

What was wrong with the word, "problem?" I understood my problems and
now I have to think of them by a new name. And what happens to the old
word, "issue?"—you know the one that referred to a particular edition
of a magazine or newspaper? Will we still have issues with magazines
or will we have to steal some other word to use? This could get out of
hand. I think I'm just going to keep saying "problem" and ignore the
rest of you cool hipsters. You got an issue with that, pal?

(Richard L. Evans is the president of my college class and the author
of novels available on He writes a weekly newsletter
called Toward the Light.)

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