COMPLAINING

DEFINITION

Complaining

Expressing pain or dissatisfaction of resentment

Express complaints, discontent, displeasure, or unhappiness

Have you ever noticed how much we complain as a species? We complain about everything in life. It’s too hot, it’s too cold, we don’t have enough money, the tv is terrible, the food we ate was tasteless, we have to work too long, we don’t have enough holidays, our husband or wife is annoying, our children are annoying, the grass needs cut, we don’t have a garden, the house is too small, the car is too old… The list is endless, wouldn’t you say?

I used to be like that too; nothing was ever good enough for me, I just couldn’t help myself. I had to complain about something. Then one day, out of the blue I realised…

I’m lucky to be alive

That changed me instantly. I was suddenly aware that I was being so selfish, complaining all the time. Not only do billions of people have it much worse than me here in my middle class life, but the fact that my father’s sperm even fertilised my mother’s egg was amazing. That I survived nine treacherous months in the womb, where anything could have happened during the pregnancy (my mother previously had a miscarriage due to a car accident), survived the birth without getting the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck, survived infanthood through to early childhood without contracting any diseases that could have put an end to my short life, is nothing short of miraculous! And amazingly, I survived adolescence without any accidents, right up to adulthood; and here I am, healthy, with my body and mind intact, aged 38, writing this. What have I got to complain about?

Now please think about this carefully, as it is important.

Think about what you like to complain about, and then think of the people who have had limbs blown off by mines, are starving, have been abused; people who are being raped right now, who are being interrogated by the secret police as you read this, who cannot say what they want in public for fear of torture and imprisonment. Think about the people who cannot buy food, cannot grow food because there is no water, have no home, have mental illness, have medical problems that mean they may die soon. Would you like me to go on?

Tell me your problems. Tell me what’s wrong Tell me what you really have to complain about.

The neighbours make too much noise. Their dog is always barking, their tv is too loud, they never mow their lawn, their children leave their toys outside, their car is too old, it lets down the appearance of the neighbourhood, their house needs painted, their trees are too high…

So what! When you think what you complain about, it’s pretty unimportant stuff really; although you attach great importance to it, wouldn’t you say? The thing about complainers is that that’s all they ever do, isn’t it?

You like to complain, but you aren’t ready to do anything about it.

Everything is a problem, but you can’t come up with a solution, or at least you won’t, because you are too busy talking about it! If something is so much of a problem, no matter how trivial it may seem in the greater scheme of things, then you should deal with it!

Find a solution, that’s all you have to do. And remember this, if there’s no solution, then there’s no problem!

Do you follow what I’m saying? If you can’t come up with a solution to whatever it is you are complaining about, then let it go. You will feel so much better. You see, complainers waste of lot of their positive energy in life being negative, because that is what complaining is – negative.

If your neighbour’s tv is always too loud, go over and speak to him about it. Sometimes, if we want to fix something that is annoying us, we have to face up to the fact that we will have to be confrontational from time to time. That does not mean you have to get angry; it just means “deal with it.” But most of us aren’t like that, are we? When we see our neighbour, we wave and say “Hi, how are you doing?” and have a really friendly chat with him; but as soon as you go inside, you turn to your wife and say “That stupid neighbour, and his stupid loud tv, I’m really getting sick of it, I’m going to…” But you never do, do you?

Because it is much safer complaining from a distance. So let’s forget all about this complaining, shall we? Let’s spend our time on more constructive activities. It’s time to appreciate what you have, and that is life. You could have lost out so many times during the course of your time here on earth. A wrong step in front of a car. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time, a terminal illness – but no, you are still here, and reading this book.

What use does complaining serve? You will never be able to change anything by just moaning about it and you will make yourself unhappy.

Appreciate life and start living that life with a little bit of joy! What do you think? Can you do that? Or would you prefer to wallow in the sea of negativity you surround yourself with?

It doesn’t cost anything to stop complaining. You don’t have to live in a democracy. You don’t need to be rich. You don’t need to be happy. You just need to be aware of why you are doing it.

Decide whether you want to find a solution to it, and if not, just let it go. It also costs nothing to let things go. Just let it go. Even if it’s a “matter of principle,” the negativity is bringing you down. Let it go.

Discontentment

A longing for something better than the present situation

My wife used to say to me that I was always complaining, but I took great offence at that; I didn’t complain about, what I would call, unimportant things.

I didn’t complain when she left all the washing up to be done all the time, or when her clothes were strewn all over the house, or when she left the house in a mess, I just tidied them up. It may seem odd to you, but once I was aware that there was no solution to the problem, I let it go, then there was no problem. Easy.

This was something different.

It started in the supermarkets, when I used to look at the country of origin and see that we were importing so many goods from asia that could easily have been grown locally (most things can be grown in the australian climate). Whether fresh, frozen, or tinned, it was all imported because it was obviously cheaper to make them there than locally, due to the low labour cost in asia.

I was disgusted by this, and so complained bitterly to my wife about exploitation etc. I then started to notice the mass consumerism in australia; their addiction to shopping and spending on luxury goods and entertainment.

Then the volume of nationalism and conformity struck me. I didn’t want to complain, but I just saw things that upset me, and I spoke openly about them. This just annoyed everyone, including my wife and her friends, who said that if I didn’t like australia, I should go back to england!

But it wasn’t that I didn’t like the country. Having driven round australia, I knew it to be a place of great beauty and natural wonder; it was the society and their lack of awareness about how they were living that was getting to me. In the end,

I wondered if I was just a complainer, the type I mentioned in the beginning of this topic who complains about everything and is content with nothing; but then I had a flash of insight. This wasn’t complaining in the general sense, this was real discontentment with how things were, and it didn’t stop when I left australia last year, it only got worse. I started to see how humans were behaving towards each other, their total lack of connection (when they pick up a consumer product) to the person who has worked so hard to make it for a few pounds salary (most consumer products are now made in “developing” (a euphemism for cheap labour) countries). I became disgusted by our western attitude to everything. We wanted it. We had the money. We didn’t care how it got there, the hardship that people had to endure to get it there, or the knock-on social and environmental consequences of having it. We just wanted it. I watched children in toy shops crying to their parents that they wanted a toy (this month’s fad), and making such a fuss, that the parents eventually gave in. Even if the toy was made by a child being paid a meagre wage in an oppressed country, the child who wanted it didn’t care who made it; his or her wants were more important than anything, and the most important thing to the parent was to shut the child up!

I feel sorry for parents sometimes, because they do all sorts of things to keep children happy without realising the full consequences of their actions; for example taking their kids to fast food restaurants, giving them sweets, or letting them watch tv as a treat!

But without education, how are parents to know what is best? I finally realised that in order for change to happen externally, real change has to happen internally, and the fire that starts that, is discontentment.

Discontentment with the way things are, and the want – not to change them – but to change yourself.

You see, once you are so discontented with everything that is when change happens. If, like me, you then educate yourself about what is happening in the world, and make radical changes in your thinking and your actions, you then affect others instantaneously. Many people have said to me that they can see the positive aspects of giving up meat to save animal suffering, but they also said “What’s the point in just me giving up meat when everyone else will carry on doing it anyway?”

This is precisely the point we have to pay close attention to. What is the point of one person changing? You tell me.

If one man is a violent robber but decides to change his thinking about life, and decides to gives up his day job, does that mean that his change has been worthless and ineffective if others are still robbing people? Think about it.

We just think that because there are six billion people in the world, our one change is useless. That is wrong. I no longer eat meat. I no longer eat at fast food restaurants. I no longer drink cola drinks. So what has changed? On the surface, nothing. The companies are still in business, so you may not think that my consumption of 150 chickens a year, 50 steaks, 150 burgers, 200 litres of cola drink, and various other products is missed by the companies, after all, they slaughter millions of other animals and make millions of litres of soft drink, but the one thing they don’t know about me is that my attitude has changed, my thinking has changed, and my actions have changed because I am discontented. I am now in a position to educate others. It is only through this utter discontentment that people change. What do you think?

How discontent are you with the situation in the world right now?

Greed, violence, killing, starvation, power, corruption, intolerance, division.

Are you discontented, or are you in the range of “don’t care” to “sort of care,” and only if someone else does it first?

I cannot force you to be discontented. I have no wish to either. Only you will know, no one else. But if you can, do one thing for me, please, even if you think everything is fine in the world – give up complaining! It is a pointless waste of energy, and it just makes you sound like a complete bore! If you are truly discontented on the other hand, make sure you are heard the world over.

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