Trying to solve the wrong problem inhibits your ability to solve the real problems. With orphans in politically and economically overstressed countries, that is especially true.
For decades as a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Edwin R. Keedy wrote those numbers on the board. Then he would ask, "What's the solution?"
Almost every semester, one student would say, "Six." Another would say "Two." Then someone would invariably shout out "Eight!"
Then Keedy would point out the error in their answers.
"All of you failed to ask the key question: What is the problem? Unless you know what the problem is, you cannot possibly find the answer."
Trying to solve the wrong problem inhibits your ability to solve the real problems.
With orphans in politically and economically overstressed countries, that is especially true.
AIDS and other diseases have claimed the lives of parents leaving their children behind. Crime and war create another faction of fatherless children. Abject poverty leaves some parents unable to care for their children and makes the best option to leave them with an orphanage or relative in order to insure that they are fed.
John F. Kennedy said, "The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were."
That's what I admire about www.iloveorphans.com. This group of friends with a heart for the children who have been discarded by their families or society is inspiring.
They have raised funds and supported activities to develop an orphanage in Bukaleba, Uganda. The first phase of that facility opens in just a couple of weeks. About 50 children younger than 6 will be cared for and taught by Arise Africa workers. Arise Africa is made up of Ugandan people solving a Ugandan problem.
They will feed, shelter and try to find permanent homes for these children who lost their biological families.
In a country with almost 10 percent of its population made up of orphans younger than 14, the problem is all too real. But it has taken more than $130,000 to create a sanctuary to offer care to 50 of the several million Ugandan orphans.
Those 50 children are currently part of the problem. But thanks to the work of these organizations, they may one day become part of the solution. The work of iloveorphans.com will grow exponentially as every group of 50 benefits from the care and education they receive in Bukaleba.
At iloveorphans.com they show love to the children who have no biological family to love and care for them.
Jesus told his followers, "Whatever you do for the least, you do for me." (Matthew, 25:40).
Author Barbara Johnson once said, "Never let a problem to be solved become more important than the person to be loved."
That is the ultimate solution to any problem.
When you love someone enough to help them in any way you can, the problems become less important and the solution becomes more apparent.
Kent Bush is publisher of the Augusta Gazette in Augusta, Kan. Contact him at augusta.gazette.com.