People Complain When Life Is Good!
Is this just an attention grabbing title? Or do I really believe this to be true?
Well, I won’t waste any time in answering both of these questions, the title may have grabbed your attention and Yes, I really do believe it’s true. I ended up discussing this very subject the other day during a visit to my favourite little Italian sandwich bar called Fontanella’s in Whittlesey Cambridgeshire, where I often stop for an Espresso and the occasional Penne all'Arrabbiata.
The day was incredibly hot actually, we’d had a short few days heat wave from Europe which had meant the Mercury had climbed to the 30’s and above. Yet prior to that it had actually been fairly hit and miss with the weather in general and I’d say that overall 2015 had been a fairly colder than average year. At the beginning of June I’d had to put on winter clothes to walk the dog and there were still frosts overnight. I was quite pleased with the warmth and sunshine, as was the person I was chatting too. So you would have thought this nice burst of heat and sunshine would be welcomed by all? You’d be wrong.
I was reliably informed that most people were not so happy about this. Last week was too cold, this week was too hot. It reminds me of Goldilocks and the Three Bears as I write this.
And this brings me to the main point. People tend to complain when life is good.
I’ve been lucky to have travelled to various parts of the world in my time and have seen examples of major hardship. In one City I visited in South America people were so poor that they would come out at night and rip apart all the bin bags on the street to find food and anything of value that could be traded or sold. There was no NHS available so if you got sick enough, you died or lived a painful shortened life. No welfare scheme for being out of work or disability benefit. Nothing, no help, you’re on your own.
So you would think that given the circumstances they would be bloody miserable and moaning non-stop? Quite the opposite. In fact they seemed rather up-beat considering the outlook and the day to day risks they face. And this brings me to the most important part of this whole piece which is as follows. They are so busy trying to survive, that they don’t have time to moan about the small things. Life is hard enough without adding to it with inconsequential things such as today being a bit too hot or cold. Yet you’d think they would moan as too hot or cold could mean death. Yet we are moaning because……………….!
Exactly, there isn’t a reason, other than the fact that we moan and complain because life is good. The better it gets, the more we look for things to moan about.
There is a saying that goes something like this, “The more a person is given, without having to work for it, the more ungrateful they become and the unhappier there life is”.
We have a huge Paradox in this world where with an Obesity Epidemic on one side and Death through Starvation on the other. We get both piped into our rooms via TV on a regular basis and it just makes us immune to feeling anything about it. People are freezing to death on the news in front of us while we reach for the Thermostat and push the heating up while moaning about the weather.
Let’s try and work on two things. Less pessimism and more optimism which is fairly obvious. But more importantly, let’s try and develop more empathy for those around us that have so much less than we do. Once we empathise with others we can then work on being more grateful for what we have instead of what we haven’t.
We do choose how we feel. I’m not expecting no one to have a moan as this can be good for releasing some build up stress for some of us. But what I am saying is this, if you begin with a moan about something, always try to finish with a positive. That way you not only leave yourself in a better place but also those you come into contact with. So by all means moan that you missed the Bus, but then tell me how much you enjoyed the walk.