Let me have you ponder the difference between these two questions:
- “Why is this problem important?”
- “Why is that problem important?”
It’s a pretty subtle distinction, but potentially quite crucial. Perhaps I’m the boss and you work for me. When we talk about “this problem,” it’s quite close – something that is within our grasp. When we speak of “that problem,” it’s a little more distant, something which is perhaps out of reach. We both might have a little more ownership of “this problem”, but perhaps be more objective about “that problem” because it’s more distant.