On complaining

I must admit a major failing in my character: I complain way too much. In an ideal world, all machines would work, everything would occur on time, there would always be an empty parking spot, the food would be hot and tasty, the drinks cold and refreshing. People would not text and drive. Drivers would pay attention to what they are doing, and waiters would always get their orders right. Yet, I don’t live in an ideal world: potholes are real, delays are common, waiting in line is the order of the day, so I complain. I complain about slow service, high prices, a lack of time. I complain about complainers. I got caught in a huge traffic jam on I-35 this afternoon through no fault of my own–seven cars had suffered a chain-reaction collision and the wreckage was blocking two lanes of the highway. My biggest complaint in life has to be a lack of time to do the things I really like to do, such as eat and sleep. Being both hungry and sleepy at the same time is depressing. I love to complain about the endless lines at check-outs in big box retailers, who don’t care at all about making me waist my time waiting to by a pizza. I have the same complaint about some doctor’s offices–not all are horrible, but some are just unbearable. We should be able to bill them for wasting our time. I endlessly complain about the weather. Bugs, enough said. Rude people everywhere. Students who cut class, don’t do their homework, fail exams, and then contact me because they are worried about their grade. I complain about the airlines, but I realize that airlines are complex and prone to scheduling disasters. I complain about the prices that certain professions charge: plumbers, mechanics, doctors, lawyers. Why should they have all the fun separating hard-working people from their cash? I complain about bumpy, pot-hole filled roads. I hate stoplights with a pure passion and have an endless series of complaints about how stupidly they are programmed–by people who never drive through them. All parking lots need to be complained about. I complain about how loud television commercials are, how stupid most of the ads are, how idiotic their arguments are for buying their products. Do the commercial makers think we are all cretins? Sometimes I complain about how fat the rest of the world seems to be getting, but that seems like a rather useless complaint when you look at all the food opportunities we have everyday. I hate the aggressive driving I encounter everywhere. Photocopiers are often the object of my ire. It bugs me when people cannot answer their cell phones. I complain about people talking and texting while they drive. I think it’s very thoughtless when a dog owner leaves the dog’s gifts where someone might step in them. I complain about politics, but no one wants to hear what I have to say. But does complaining actually help? I often complain without thinking about the pointless nature of my complaints, the fact that no one cares, that I am just making myself more unhappy by articulating, lustily, my disagreement with the world. I’m sure this is a short list–there are more things I can complain about–but by complaining, I can get my cares off of my chest, and maybe put some of it behind me. The problem is this: my complaints are often well-deserved but the wrong people are hearing them, which makes them irked and me sad. Yet, unless we complain will we ever change the world? Sometimes complaining can make a difference, and passive indifference will only make a bad problem, worse.