From Experience and Education, by John Dewey:
The institutions and customs that exist in the present and that give rise to present social ills and dislocations did not arise overnight. They have a long history behind them. Attempt to deal with them simply on the basis of what is obvious in the present is bound to result in adoption of superficial measures which in the end will only render existing problems more acute and more difficult to solve.
Although Dewey wrote this in the context of discussing a new approach to education, I think it is more generally relevant. What does it mean to you?