Quote of the Week 25: Don’t Just Complain: Do Something About It

If ever a cliche needed recognition, acceptance and follow through, then it’s this “actions speak louder than words.” What’s your own contribution to a world full of problems? How have your attitudes changed in personal matters and difficulties? . . .

Useless complaining

Let’s admit it. We often like having a little moan, about the things in life we don’t like. That’s a very common, very human reaction. We start complaining, having a go, maybe even having a bit of a rant. Or even a big rant!

Great. You feel much calmer, after “getting it off your chest”, as they say? O.K. so far so good, you may think. But ask yourself: “what else have I achieved?”

Nothing at all. You haven’t changed anything to do with whatever it is you’re not happy about.

We’re all a bit like that, aren’t we? Reminds me of the old saying: “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words cannot hurt me.” Neither do words alone change anything you feel is not right. However . . .

Feel your complaint enough to be inspired

Maybe a word, but in the right ear, might actually achieve something. Maybe you can change it after all!  That’s what Maya is saying in this quote: Please don’t just have a useless little rant. Sit down. Calm down. Put on your thinking cap, and then make a list of all the possible ways you could help change it – whatever the “it” is.

Of course, making a list of possible actions is not enough. We need to analyse them carefully: look at the pros and cons of each, and then decide what exactly you’re going to do. And when you can do it! Then just do it!

That’s one way to change things. Be proactive, believe you can achieve far more than your inbuilt negativity allows. Yes. You too really can make a difference.

The power of the team approach

If the course of action seems too much for you, then adopt the strategy that all “shakers and movers” use. They get other people on board, form a little team, believe that “two heads are better than one”, and work to bring about the change they feel is needed.

The second part of the quote is equally challenging. It tells of an all too common experience: there’s nothing we can do about it. The action needed to change things may be way out of our league. I must confess I feel that way about so many tragic things going on in the world. War and famine, seemingly part of our broken humanity’s DNA. “What the heck can I do about Syria?” – to take a current example.

Be realistic in what you can achieve

So Maya suggests “change your attitude.” Perhaps she is simply suggesting not to worry yourself, into an early grave, over something utterly beyond your control. As they say, “you can’t take the weight of the world on your shoulders.”

So, maybe it’s just a question of accepting the fact that we live in a very primitive world, and trying to do our best in the tiny fraction of it that’s within our reach. Suffering and death are facts of life, whether we like it or not. We all suffer, we all die. We just try to make a difference where and when we can.

At the very least, let’s all decide that it’s better to be a part of the solution, than part of the problem. Yes, much better – even if our contribution to the wider world is minuscule, when judged on a cosmic scale.

What about the situation, where we don’t like something about ourselves that we can’t change. Let’s say you’ve got cancer. My brother had terminal cancer, he just adopted a very positive attitude, and did the best he could, never complaining. His attitude was to spend the time he had left, as best he could, with family and friends. I was lucky, I was cured of prostate cancer, and so far it hasn’t come back. My attitude is one of gratitude, and thanks to God, for my ongoing health.

As Maya says, if you can’t change something then, at very least, adopt a more positive attitude towards it. You’ll feel much happier.

Gerry McCann


P.S. How have you helped, in some small way, to “change the world?” How have your attitudes changed in those matters outside of your control? Please tell us, and share a comment below.

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