Staff column: Thinking simple; the first, best policy
On Sunday my son and I were working on a car we have been trying to restore to life for some time now. We finally got the engine back in and got it set up to start, but there was no spark.
With a more modern car we just could have hooked up my sons electronic equipment to it and found out what was wrong. But this car was built before that time and we went through the routine of checking wires, the coil and various other kinds of things to get the spark of life into the ignition. As we did this my eyes kept falling on the electronic module mounted to the fender well thinking that could be the problem. But I also knew that not long before we took the engine out I had replaced that early piece of computer technology that is the size of a small cereal box. So I dismissed my intuition by ignoring the most simple solution of all; unplugging the module and plugging in one we knew that worked from my old flatbed truck.
Finally, after all else had failed, that's what we did and the engine sprang to life; the old adage if you have spark and fuel it will at least start, was proven true once again.
After we were done that evening and my son went home I sat on the patio thinking about what we had accomplished that day. The engine was in, and with a few more parts and some adjustments it would be on the road. In the last two weekends we had taken a car that had been out of commission with a worn out engine and now have now created something that will be able to function normally for many, many miles. I was pretty proud of us.
Then I asked myself the question "Why don't we, the human race, look to simple answers to solve the worlds problems instead of always making everything so complicated?"
Maybe some of the problems we face are not as complicated as we think and simple solutions could be the answer to some of them. I am not demeaning those that work on important issues, but maybe a little intuition about fixes, about making it simple instead of more involved, is the answer to many of man kind's woes.
The world is not an engine, but the sparks that drive it or don't drive it exist in human beings. And the fuel is the circumstances that exist in the world.
As I said to myself when we realized that it was just that outdated electronic module on the side of the fender "keep it simple, stupid" would be a good adage for all those that attempt to solve problems in our controversial and modern world to follow.