So I’m walking somewhere today. I’m just minding my own business, focusing on getting to my destination, when all of a sudden I see a friend.
I strike up a quick conversation, as we’re both headed in the same direction apparently.
The first thing he complains about is that it’s probably one of the hottest days of the year and that he just wants to go home and celebrate the holidays by sleeping off stress and watching reruns of his favorite TV shows. Then he leaves after saying some other stuff.
I decided to do a little experiment. The whole day, I paid extra close attention to when people whine. Let’s just say that I am really discouraged to find out that our society is filled to the brim with stress and plagued with severe cases of insomnia and desire for a better position.
Reality sucks, right? But if people took the time to consider the positions that they are in right now and compare it to others, then their whining and complaining would probably gain more significance. People seem to automatically whine whenever given any small amount of stress these days. Can’t we all just carry our own weight and be quiet about it? Stop whining about your experiences in school or your messy coat or your misspelled name on your embossed business card, for goodness’ sake! People have to worry about bigger things than that.
See? This is a cause for bigger stress. The economy is obviously plummeting in America.
No, I’m just messing with you. Obviously, this guy should just tone it down a little. I mean, in America the only people that can make that kind of money is Donald Trump and other wealthy businessmen (women too), the President (who is dealing with his share of stress too with the economy), and really good, professional doctors and specialists. There may be more, but that’s all that I can think of now. And trust me, these kinds of people are rare. I mean, of course, there is only one (technically two if including the VP) president.
(P.S. Now you know where I live. Moving soon so no one can track me down. Insert evil laugh here. Just kidding.)
And as for it being the hottest day of the year, I can tell all of you who think so this: You have NOT experienced a heat wave while in a city in a desert (unless if of course you have or you’re experiencing one right now). Trust me, I’ve been there. In fact, I have even suffered from mild heat stroke due to the extreme heat. Nothing to be proud of, but it’s a great example to prove my point of people complaining way too much about their lives right now.
So when can you complain? I mean, there has to be a certain point when you can say, “Okay, that’s it, that’s past my league, and it’s too tough for me”, right?
In fact, there are, I observe, two different kinds of complaining. The first that I observe, and the one that most plagues our society, is what I like to call “auto-planing,” and the second, the more rarer, is what I like to call a “cry for change.” Let’s discern between the two, okay?
I gave it this nickname because it reminds me of planes on autopilot. Why planes? They’re so high in altitude, that’s why! They’re up in the clouds. Why autopilot? Because no one has to think about the plane straying off course.
Just like the “average” part of society. The part that doesn’t have to dig for food out of the trash every day in order to survive. The part that has a car, but still complains about gas mileage. The part that automatically complains about their marks or GPA in school- and stops there without taking action. All of this part of society is practically in an isolated bubble, protected from the outer, harsher realities of the world. And it still is plagued with complaining and idle talk.
When you complain because you genuinely want an easier life, then that’s one thing. But complaining over trivial matters? That is just pathetic.
A Cry for Change
Imagine living in a situation like this:
Chaotic, right? Imagine if the streets “ran red with wine, only to be stained with a darker shade of wine much later”. Imagine if you lived during the French Revolution, a bloody time where the nation used a razor and shaved off heads whenever its hand slipped. Which tended to happen a lot, and most often not by accident.
The whole reason for the French Revolution, though, is that the general populace of France (that is, it’s Third Estate comprised of peasants and artisans) wanted a change in the exemption of the higher estates from the law. Equality for all men was a cherished thing, and liberty was often drunk to and eventually fought for.
But that’s just it. The thing that discerns this cry for help from auto-planing is that these people actually took action. Not only that, these people took action because of the previous experiences that they’ve been through. They did complain often about trivial things, I’m sure, but all of them complained about their unfair treatment and took action.
Much better than our society. High-five, Sir Dickens, and the authors of many school textbooks, for bringing many of our students’ attention to the strain of man and its survival throughout troubles without auto-planing too much.
So what’s my point exactly? Easy. Don’t auto-plane too much. Sure, no one’s perfect in the world, and we tend to do this once in a while. Just keep it to a minimum, and before you utter your grievances against the McDonald’s employee for putting pickles in your burger even though you didn’t want any, or issue a formal complaint against the Apple company for making a phone that doubles as a shrapnel grenade if dropped from a height of more than six inches, think of those less fortunate than you. There is and will always be someone less fortunate than you, whether fictional or nonfictional.
Most importantly, if you find a pressing issue that not only applies to you but to the rest of the community as well, then don’t be afraid to take action. Society is so lazy these days, so why not step up to the plate and take one for the team?
You can inspire change. Anyone can. If you’ve managed to get one person to listen to you, then you’ve done your job well.
Feel free to print out that license if you’re scared and want a good luck charm, although I’m not sure that it would be valid at all conferences, courts, company budget meetings, or Chuck E. Cheese’s. But you can try.