“What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Don’t complain.”
― Maya Angelou, Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now
This has nothing to do with the point of this post but whenever I heard Maya Angelou speak, I always imagined that’s how God would sound. She had such a commanding voice, one that could admonish you while gently holding you in her arms at the same time. She deserved a mountaintop. It’s a rare gift.
Anyway, back to what I intended to write before I was distracted with the voice in my head.
I don’t like being around complainers. (Apparently Maya didn’t either). They wear on me. They bring me down. They make me lose my appetite for sweets and that’s a really hard thing to do.
We all know these people, right? They’re all around us, especially in the workplace. Those people who complain about everyone and everything. They hate the company, they don’t like their supervisor, they don’t get paid enough, they’re not appreciated, the company picnic sucked, why is there a dress code, their co-worker annoys them, management doesn’t know what they’re doing, no one knows what their doing.
These are the same people who carry over their bubbly personalities to their private lives. You know who they are. They live in a world where cynicism reigns supreme, where every statement or conversation begins and ends with some form of negativity. There are no positive aspects of their lives which they choose to focus on, Instead they beat you over the head with the direness of their existence.
Now let me be clear, there is a difference between endlessly complaining and sharing your problems with loved ones/friends. There is a difference between deciding to live in the quicksand you’re stuck in and searching for a way out. My issue is with those people who get off on the negativity, who choose to remain in the job they have without even making an attempt to find another one, who keep telling us how difficult it is to do something, without ever really making an attempt to resolve the issue facing them.
In my mind, most people have two choices. You either change your situation or you stop complaining about it. Don’t remind me every time I see you how miserable you are and then do nothing to try to correct it. Again, I realize that not everything is that simple and some people have extenuating circumstances that may prevent them from making that choice but that’s not what, or who, this is about.
I’m reminded of the story about a guy who sits down with his friend at lunch and as he takes out his food, complains that everyday he has the same boring bologna sandwich. His friend tells him that he should ask his wife to make him something else, to which the guy replies, “I make my own sandwiches.”
Maya would have liked the bologna story.