So long 2015! Although you were quite the mixture of good, bad, happy and sad, annoyance is what comes to mind when I think about the booming population of whiners this past year has brought. With complaining having surpassed football as our national pastime, we are now subjected to almost daily rants about someone, somewhere being offended about something.
The cream of the crop of complainers of course are college students, who are forever howling about some injustice, never grasping the irony of complaining about repression while attending some of the most elite schools in the country. Whaa, whaa this, whaa whaa that, they just never stop.
Students across the country have swarmed campuses like angry wasps, protesting about all sorts of microagressions. From a perceived lack of diversity at the University of Missouri, to allegedly offensive Halloween costumes at Yale, to the word “American” at the University of New Hampshire to pro nouns like he/him/mankind, etc…at North Carolina State. I could go on and on and on.
One sorority, Pi Beta Phi, was even forced to cancel their all you can eat “Pi Phiesta” taco bar fundraising events held at chapters across the country because it was deemed culturally insensitive.
Yes, you read that right. Several good charities lost out on donations because somebody decided that a taco bar is offensive to Mexicans. What’s more disturbing is that someone else in a position of authority actually took that person seriously. What else can I say except we are doomed as a society if this continues. As my blogger friend irtfyblog likes to say, this is just pathetic!
I’m not usually a slogan person but if there is one theme I hope takes root in 2016 it’s this, complain less about problems and do more to solve them.
I know it sounds stupidly simple but it really is true that what you focus on becomes your reality. If you think you’re a victim of someone or something, your life takes shape around this narrative and you turn in to one. It becomes your own personal cause célèbre, and sucks up all your time and energy.
What if some of that focus could be turned it inward? Instead of spending all day at a rally shouting about how unfair things are, you sat quietly by yourself and contemplated what kind of life would make you happy? What are some steps you can take to get there?
What about career goals? If you could have any dream job, what would it be and does it match up with your financial goals? What does your school guidance counselor have to say? Do you even know who that person is?
If you’re employed, share those goals with your management and ask how they might assist you in obtaining them. If you don’t feel they would be supportive than start looking for a new job. Reach out to people in careers that interest you and see if they can meet for an “information interview”. You’d be surprised how many strangers say yes to this, especially if a free meal is involve.
Yes, life can be horribly unfair and there are those going through extraordinarily bad circumstances through no fault of their own. That’s all the more reason though for those inclined to see injustice in every little thing to just stop it. It belittles the meaning of the word suffering and takes away our empathy and assistance from those that truly deserve and need it.
The bottom line is people feel most empowered when they have some sense of control over their lives. Health and wellness, finances, relationship status, career, social life, these are all areas where making small, incremental changes can make a big difference.
There are some things of course that just can’t be changed and they just must be accepted. While this can be a bitter pill to swallow, enormous emotional growth and wisdom can flow from the most difficult of circumstances of you allow it to. This requires letting go of bitterness and replacing it with vulnerability and humbleness.
So, to all you professional complainers out there, it’s time to realize your act is old and tired, that the shark has long been jumped and put out to pasture. We’ve moved on to bigger and better things and so should you.
In other words, suck it up buttercup!