Through my travels and conversations, its a fairly regular occurrence for me to listen to people complain about something. It’s almost like complaining is the default setting of peoples minds, and whenever they start talking about something, they end up reverting back to that. Well, for quite some time while I am having a conversation with someone, if that conversation starts to be directed towards complaining, then my mind closes off, my opinion drops out and I stop talking. I’ve changed my default setting.
I will no longer be a part of all of the negativity that surrounds us on a day to day basis.
Everywhere that we turn there is negativity and I’m choosing not to deal with it anymore. I’m not saying that I won’t have a conversation or a relationship with a person who is negative. And I’m not saying that people aren’t entitled to their opinions. What I’m saying, is that most of the time if someone is complaining about someone behind their back to me, that same person will usually be willing to talk negatively about me behind my back. What I’m saying, is that I want to surround myself with people who are striving to be the best that they can be, so that in turn I can be the best that I can be. What I’m saying, is that when I hear people complain, I wonder why they haven’t actually taken some action to try to change what they don’t like. What I’m saying, is that negativity only brings more negativity and that’s not what I want my life to be filled with.
Why complain about different cultures when we can embrace our differences and learn about as much as every culture has to offer. Why complain about a government, when we can take action ourselves, and start to make the change that we want to see. Why complain about our friends, family, or neighbours, when its really up to us to decide who we spend our time with. I know that we don’t and never will live in a utopian world, but that doesn’t mean that we have to spend the time that we have, complaining and whining about the things that we have. We need to embrace every ounce of awesome that this world has to offer.
I wish that I had more experience to be able to elaborate on this point but here’s all that I’ve got; If you live in Canada, The United States, Australia, The UK, or any other developed country, YOU ARE EXTREMELY LUCKY. Generally, we all have access to water, shelter, education, healthcare, and numerous other advantages of living in a developed country. Even those of us who live in the worst possible situations in our countries, are better of than a very large population of this world. We don’t have to spend hours walking every day just to get water that will most likely kill us from disease. We don’t have to worry about bombs exploding all around us. We don’t have to see dead bodies laying in the streets. And we don’t have to spend our whole life living in poverty if we are willing to work just a little bit. I apologize if this is more graphic that expected but these are the things that I think about when I hear someone complaining to me about one of the countless things they feel is more important than the true issues that our planet faces.
Over the years, I have had some conversations with my wife about taking what some might consider risks, or doing something that could possibly put us in a situation where we lose the things that we have worked for. To each one of those conversations, my answer was always this, “We live in the best country in the world, and even if we did lose everything, we can both walk into just about any store and make more money at minimum wage in one day than some do in a whole month, so how can we complain if that were to happen.” It’s those things above that make me ensure that I am grateful each and every day for being lucky enough to live in the country that I do, have the freedom that I have, and be surrounded by the people that I love. I’m thankful for all of them because I am aware of how so many others are forced to live each day of their lives, and I feel that I have no right to complain about something that many people would literally do anything to have even a small portion of.
So in closing, I want to leave you with this; When you want to complain about someone, something, or an event that has happened, stop and consider what you are actually complaining about, and if it actually matters. Then consider what effect your complaining might have on those around you and how they might begin to perceive you for it. As I had stated above, I’m not yet at the point to push people out of my life based purely on their mindset and how much they complain, but I will say this now, I have noticed that I don’t put in the same amount of effort towards those relationships that I may have at one time. I also know that I’ve been striving to spend more of my time with those who do generally have a more positive outlook on how we spend our lives, which in turn will give me less time for those who don’t. I know that I’m not even close to perfect and I’m sure will still find something to complain about from time to time, but I also know that everyday I make a conscious decision to be as positive as I can be, and hopefully, that positivity might one day actually rub off on someone else.
“Don’t Criticize, condemn, or Complain” Dale Carnegie