Don't Ignore the Signs of Growing Issues | Teen Ink

Don't Ignore the Signs of Growing Issues

June 1, 2023
By Anonymous

Chaos ensues once the unexpected occurs; when, amid a sea of order, there lies an aberration – a question. Chaos is portrayed throughout our culture in a myriad of ways: when it serves an engaging purpose, it’s the surprise ending of a mystery novel. Or, more adversely, it is the frightful, unknown noise in horror movies. In both cases, chaos is that which is undefined – something that feels out of human control. Naturally, we are less inclined toward chaos, as it can bring forth unanticipated consequences. So, we gravitate towards order: the known. Deconstructing this biologically, we find that security, the order, denotes your continued survival, while disorder, the chaos, implies that your survival is not guaranteed. Because of this disposition, we adopt a willful blindness to disruptions in our sense of order. We choose not to inspect the indications of chaos, out of fear of dealing with issues we are not equipped to handle. Consequently, chaos is permitted to evolve and expand, eventually becoming exactly what we feared. 

To illustrate, imagine waking up to a sore back: you don’t know how or why your back came to be like this, so, naturally, you choose to wait it out. But what was once a negligible annoyance turns into a sharp, restrictive pain that continues to grow. Day by day, you notice the pain increasing. You choose to ignore the cause, as it could be an injury you’re not prepared to handle. Out of fear that your issue is serious, you don’t get it diagnosed. With this justification, you allow years to go by while your pain builds. Eventually, it becomes so debilitating that you are forced to see a doctor, who informs you that you have considerable deformations in the structure of your back, and your injury is more significant than it would have been had you chosen to resolve it in its infancy.

Throughout this ordeal, your unwillingness to see a doctor was grounded in a fear of chaos, that your pain may originate from something far more serious. So, you chose to ignore it. In doing so, the issue grew, eventually becoming so noticeable that you were forced to acknowledge it. But, by this time, it was too late, as the injury is no longer easily mendable. Determined to secure your current safety, you decided against identifying the issue and evaluating the foreshadowing chaos. You lived years without diagnosing your pain, assuming your ignorance was justified. Consequently, undergoing constant paranoia and resentment. But, had you taken the chance to look instead of supposing the shadow was a monster, you might have found that it was a mouse. Conversely, it might have been the most ferocious creature you’ve ever seen. Either way, when faced with the signs of potential chaos, you expose yourself to it: shift it from chaos to order, from the unknown to the known. Otherwise, it will show itself after being ignored long enough.

Using a slightly different scenario, suppose that you received a poor score on your recent physics test (physics tests will always be my placeholder for tests you fail): instead of attempting to assess the test for your mistakes, you, in a fit of pessimism, choose to ignore it completely. The test, like the shadow, brings forth a question. In this case, the question may be as simple as “Am I as smart as I think I am?” Fearful that the answer may not please you, you ignore it. So, you continue taking your physics tests, making the same mistakes you did previously. Eventually, you’ve failed so many physics tests that your grade is no longer recoverable. Now, whether or not you believe it, your average points toward you being incompetent – exactly what you feared. You could have passed the course, had you chosen to face the problem early; but you allowed it to grow: you allowed the mouse to become a monster.

As humans, our worldly concerns and personal inadequacies are at the forefront of our minds, so anything that would exacerbate or add to them is feared. Therefore, we don’t voice our concerns, attack problems in their infancy, or resolve our flaws – out of apprehension of conflict. But avoiding issues, instead of finding solutions to them, only allows them to grow, to become greater than you are fit to handle. The trajectory of your life is forever impacted by these unaddressed issues, only culminating in regret.


The author's comments:

Through this article, I wanted to explain how we can avoid catastrophes through early prevention measures.

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