BY GANJIKI D WAYNE
SOMETIMES I THINK we’re all in one big competition. Trying to see who can complain the best. Who can articulate society’s problems most cleverly and clearly? And who can say it first? Who can best fuel the flames of frustration and get most people on the same whingeing-wagon?
Who can promote a complaint to get the admiration of our people—with praises that we’ve “hit the nail on the head”? We want people to adore our complaints and extend them till we’re singing a dirge together. Now there’s not a great deal of wrongs with complaining. It is a form of noise and perhaps when enough noise is made, action can be taken.
David Sode once said that it’s like we humans are built to complain. If all the problems we currently complain about were to be solved, we would then complain about how imperfect those solutions are! We just have to...it’s human nature!
Turn to the letters section of any daily newspaper and see how many people are complaining (among them my proposed solutions). Now with technology and the internet it’s very easy to get a better glimpse of the degree of complaining going on.
I complain too. So I’m talking to myself as well. But I try to limit my significant complaints to matters that I am ABLE to do something about. Or to communicate them to people who can do something about them. And I try to include potential solutions in my complaints.
I once read about a leadership guru who got so tired of his people complaining a lot to him that he set a rule. No one was allowed to bring a complaint to him unless they also brought along three possible solutions to that problem.
Immediately the number of people complaining in his organisation decreased greatly; and the problem-solvers rose up. This is because it takes less wit to identify a problem than it takes to identify a solution. I think one solution is worth ten complaints when it comes to using our mind power (an unscientific assessment of course).
The problem is people want to say things...but they don’t want to think too much. So the solution to that problem is easy. Say things that don’t require much thinking; ergo...complain! Problem solved! We said much without having to think much!
Are you a complainer or a problem-solver? You don’t have to think about solving the world’s problems. But you can think about solutions to problems in your immediate sphere of influence.
Think about those little problems that you can impact. Then think harder about the solutions to those problems. I’m quite confident that you’ll become more influential as you continue to work within that sphere—solving those problems that you can solve. Eventually that sphere will get larger. Complaining and worrying won’t extend your borders.
As my Good Friend says, “Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?” Yes, that’s my Good Friend Jesus.