Saturday, December 21, 2013

On complaints

I have been teaching English writing for years. Since I firmly believe in this “Practice makes perfect” philosophy, my students have to do a lot of outside writings to earn their credits. I used to have my students write about their new year’s resolutions at the end of fall semester, which was of course a clichéd topic. I had stopped giving them such a topic because I hated to read all that “nothing new.” However, I am going to write one myself today. Yes, one. I wish I could complain less.

Complaining is one of the activities we humans do all the time, yet it is also one of the most useless things that help nothing but deepen our discontent.

I often hear fellow teachers complaining about how students today do not known they should work harder to learn more; how the school authorities keep pushing teachers to mind a number of trivial mattes unrelated to our teaching and research. Every evening, the live talk shows on TV are full of so called pundits whining about how President Ma should do this and should not do that. As for the general public, few seem to like the lives they are leading now. For example, they want the transit system built to increase the value of their real estate properties but they protest the noise made during the construction. They want better health care and more pension but grumble about the income taxes.

Recently several government bodies moving to new offices in Xinzhuang area ignited complaints from civil servants, who were not happy about having to rearrange their commuting routine. Instead of thanking taxpayers to pay for their new office buildings, they bluntly whined about needing to get up half an hour earlier than usual. As citizens of this country, they definitely have the same right as you and me to complain, but they should keep their complaints to themselves for they are of no public interest.

Experience had taught me that I was the only victim if I kept blaming for things I could not change. People really care less about your complaint; however, you would feel happier and more powerful if you think positive and cherish what you have owned.  

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