The Solution becomes the Problem

The comedian Tony Slattery told of his battles with substance abuse, alcohol and depression. What started as the solution to his problems became the problem.

Yeonmi was born in North Korea, living under a brutally repressive regime. She was often starving. Her family only survived through her father’s dealings on the black market. He was caught and the family branded criminals. Life was hopeless.

The solution was for the family to find freedom in China. Despite the dangers, 13 year old Yeonmi escaped with her mother. This presented greater problems.

She saw her mother raped and sold. ‘Married’ to an older man she was forced to be involved in human trafficking, prostitution and human slavery. What she thought was a solution became a problem.

Kim felt she had no control of her life. Her partner kept cheating on her. Her M.E. made her physically exhausted. She wanted to look more attractive. She felt worthless.

‘I turned to food… started to diet… controlled everything I ate and drank, living merely off coffee and handfuls of dry fruits and fibre. If I did eat a “meal” it was frozen vegetables and then I felt guilty, full and unhappy. I decided to try and make myself sick…’

Doctors told her to eat more. ‘…the more I ate the more I purged. Then purging wasn’t enough, I needed to expel everything from body so I started abusing laxatives and sleeping pills… life became all about food. ‘

Kim’s solution had become her problem.

Social isolation is a solution that for many has become a problem.

Perhaps Dominic Cummings is a solution who has become a problem

St Paul faced an issue where a solution had become a problem – the requirement for circumcision. His conclusion was: ‘The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.’


‘In Order to Live’ by Yeonmi Park tells how a North Korean girl eventually found freedom in South Korea. An excellent book!

Galatians 5:1-6

Musing on my musing…

I never thought I would write 300 words on addiction, North Korean politics, rape, human trafficking and prostitution, anorexia, social isolation, Dominic Cummings, and circumcision!!

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