An unhappy person who talks about “the way things ought to” be has a decision to make.
- They need to take action, or
- They need to shut up and get on with their life.
I’m sorry if that sounded cold and harsh. Allow me to explain.
“The Way Things Ought to Be” is a fantasy world. Complaining that you don’t live there is pointless.
“The Way Things Really Are” is the world you live in. Learn to navigate in that world and you can go anywhere you want.
I’m not saying that you have to make peace with the status quo.
I’m not saying that you have to accept things as they are.
I’m not saying that you are powerless to change things.
I’m saying that unproductive whining is pointless.
Take action or shut up. Don’t spend your life believing you are a victim and trying to convince everyone else of it.
“But can’t I at least tell people how I feel?”
It depends on who those people are. Do they have the power to change things? If they do, then yes, tell them how you feel. And then convince other people to do the same. Start a revolution. Create a future that is better than the past. Progress depends on people like you.
But if you share your indignation with people who have don’t have the power to change things, and you have no intention of talking to the people who do have the power, you’re just complaining, moaning, and whining.
No one likes a whiner.
The difference between a victim and a revolutionary is that the victim takes no action beyond complaining to their friends.
A revolutionary risks ridicule and defeat. He or she spends time, energy, and money in the effort to make the future better than the past.
You can make a difference if you are willing to pay the price.
George Bernard Shaw said,
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends upon the unreasonable man.”
And then he said,
“You don’t hold your own in the world by standing on guard, but by attacking and getting well hammered yourself.”
Are you willing to fall under the hammer if that’s what it takes to change things?
Even when I don’t agree with them, I admire women and men who do more than just complain to their friends.
But in every instance I always agree with that delightful person who takes no position unless they are also willing to take action, that person who elevates every conversation to a pleasant topic and makes you feel happy they are around.
Roy H. Williams
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