Complaining Has Become a Way of Life

Thursday, June 27, 2013

"Never tell your problems to anyone...20% don't care and the other 80% are glad you have them." Lou Holtz.

"If you can quit, quit. If you can't quit, stop complaining. This is what you chose." J.H. Konrath.

"Stop complaining and start living." Habeeb Akande.

Does it sometimes seem that we are indeed a nation of complainers?

While we may not actually be the wealthiest nation at the present time (in terms of per capita income), we certainly rank near the top. And no doubt the rest of the world looks at America and sees a land of both achievement and opportunity.

Any portrayal of our economic well-being is not intended to ignore the negative reality that some face -- those everyday problems are real and cause for concern. But let's be honest -- most Americans have it very good.

That's why it's so disheartening to listen to so many complaints and chronic grumbling in day-to-day settings.

We learned long ago not to become part of the "coffee shop" crowd. It's not because we don't like coffee. Rather, it's a matter of not wanting to listen to so many versions of what's wrong with the town, the state, the nation and the world.

And isn't it true that it's so much easier to offer a grand analysis of how people in charge are doing it wrong than it is to become involved and attempt to be a part of the solution?

In essence, that's what we see as the basic nature of the complaining epidemic -- it makes it look as though one is engaged or interested without requiring any commitment or sacrifice.

The other essential component of complaining, in our view, is that, over time, it becomes a habit. The more one complains, the more it takes over that individual's personality and approach to life. To an extent, it seems that some of the worst complainers don't even seem to recognize what they are saying or doing. Eventually they are almost immune to the negativity, but it does adversely affect everyone around them.

While complaining about economic conditions or politics seems to be the specialty of this crowd, the disease actually expands into virtually every aspect of life -- a negative spin can be applied to just about any situation, from the significant to the petty.

We owe it to ourselves to do a self-evaluation and ask if we are part of the problem or part of the solution. Do we have the self-confidence and the sense of goodwill to become involved or do we want to stand on the sidelines and comment on what others should have done?