There is a tendency for people to look at situations in history and life from one perspective, as if only one thing determines the situation. Its not uncommon to find people looking for the ‘one thing’ that, say, caused a war to happen. I have found that this causes many misconceptions and misleading notions about things. I have found that a lot of things in life is not a result of a single thing, but multiple things all put together. I have always compared it to a soup which is made up of many ingredients. As a result, I speak of this as the ‘situational soup’. Almost all situations are a ‘situational soup’ in one way or the other. Historical events, especially, should always be looked at from a ‘soup’ perspective to give it a more accurate and realistic picture of what happened.
In general, I’ve found that the ‘soup’ tends to typically have three main qualities (though this, by no means, is set in stone):
1. The Liquid. Typically, this is the day-to-day living conditions that are going on at the time. As such, its monotony tends to make it overlooked and passed over. The ‘fluid’ is typically a non-changing event and is like a continual idling of the society.
2. The Meat and Vegatables. This is the various happenings that are taking place in the society at the time. It consists of the changing events that are taking place at the time. This can be political, economic, social, and other changes that are taking place.
3. The Spices. This is often an event or series of events that can trigger, for example, a crisis or situation to happen. In many ways, the ‘spices’ can be compared to a catalyst. Oftentimes, the ‘spice’ is credited with causing a historical event as it is the most obvious event that stands out. But, in reality, it is usually only the trigger that would of been nothing without the other ingredients. Oftentimes, all that is needed is a ‘pinch’ of the ‘spice’ for a situation to happen. Much like cooking, too much or too little ‘spice’ can change the whole soup.
Oftentimes, the ‘soup’ needs a long time to simmer and develop. Sometimes, no simmering is required. It seems that most situations in life require a period of simmering, at least for a little while.
Even though the ingredients are all there, most ‘situational soups’ don’t do anything until the soup is done. This means that a society can have all the traits and nothing happens. Once it’s ‘done’ the situation happens. As a result, there are always ‘dormant’ conflicts in life and in society, just sitting there simmering . . . and waiting for the time. Societies that seem calm and peaceful often have many soups simmering. Then – bam! – a crisis happens.