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Be part of the solution

Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Brinkley, 19th Airlift Wing command chief

Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Brinkley, 19th Airlift Wing command chief

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- As I ran at about 5:30 a.m., problem solving became the focus of my thoughts. You see, I didn't realize skunks like to get up early and forage around my normal running route. So, as I faced off with one of those furry creatures, I began to ponder how we deal with problems when we are faced with them. Do we engage the situation or do we change our course?

This skunk didn't remind me of the cartoon character Pe'pe Le Pew, because I knew this skunk wasn't here to provide me laughter. My solution to the problem was to change course in order to improve my situation. Sometimes the most important aspect of problem solving is problem avoidance. So often, many of us run into situations that are negative because we are unwilling to adjust our direction in life.

Then there are times when avoidance is not recommended or practical. I was talking to Tony Wyatt, our base equal opportunity director, and he gave me insight into taking on a problem head on. He noticed no less than 15 people walk by a cup on the ground by our fitness center. Mr. Wyatt then went and picked it up and placed it in the trash can. The other thing he did was to attempt to educate those who were too busy or distracted to get involved. His point was that if you see an opportunity to eliminate a problem, avoidance is not the way to go.

We need to be prepared to assist where we can to help one another as we accomplish our mission. If the problem is too big for you to handle, then elevate your perspective to those above you. We can't just walk away from things within our control to improve. Bad news does not get better with time; so whether you change course or engage to solve a problem, each of us must be a part of the solution.

Combat Airlift!