Henry L. Mencken said it first: “For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong.” Several 7-Eleven stores learned the truth of that statement. According to a NEW YORK TIMES article, a number of the convenience stores had a problem with teenagers hanging out in their parking lots at all hours of the day and night. Not that they didn’t like kids. But the teens were noisy. Customers had to walk around them to get into the stores. And they left discarded wrappers, cigarette butts and paper cups on the grounds.
Managers tried various methods to solve the problem. They asked the young people to move elsewhere. They asked them to pick up their trash. They even spoke to the police, but nothing worked. Each solution was simple, neat, and ineffective.
Finally, one manager came up with an unusual idea to dissuade the teenagers from hanging out in front of the stores. He suggested that all the shops start piping easy-listening music into the parking lots. Immediately, the teens stopped hanging around. (Perhaps his tactic was ruthless, but it was effective.)
Sometimes we need a good answer. Again and again we butt up against the same old problem, whether it is relational, professional or personal. It seems that whatever we try is not working.
Perhaps you need to approach your persistent problem with a new way of thinking. Leave it in God’s hands, He will guide you to the right solution! It may require a change of thinking though.
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