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I read an article by F. Sionil Jose in a Multiply group and it prompted me to write my own piece of answer to the question, “Why are Filipinos so Poor??”

I have read his article before and i agree with some of them. But really it all comes down to this:

We have become a country of complainers. All we do is complain instead of doing something about making everybody’s life better.

Instead of doing something for the betterment of everyone we complain and do nothing about what we complain about. If we want a good life for ourselves we have to challenge ourselves to stop complaining all the time and start moving towards development of our nation as a whole and not only our own family.

If we start DOING SOMETHING TO IMPROVE LIFE EVEN JUST IN THE SMALLEST WAY WE COULD rather than complaining about how things should be done if we were in someone else’s shoes then we’d probably feel a whole lot better as a person and be happier as a nation and grow to become better one small step at a time.

If we want to improve our lives we need to help each other improve and stop bickering and complaining how things go bad etc etc. It’s not always what you say but what good you do that matters.

As i have posted in my facebook, plurk and twitter profile:

“Complaints will not do anything, better START DOING SOMETHING GOOD TODAY for everyone’s sake rather than just complaining about it.”

For the sake of clarity let me define COMPLAINT for you.

Accdg to Merriam Webster’s dictionary, complaint is:

  • an expression of grief, pain, or dissatisfaction.
  • something that is the cause or subject of protest or outcry
  • a bodily ailment or disease
  • a formal allegation against a party

Now that we understand what a complaint is we can now be aware of when we do it.

As for me, I became conscious of the “complaining phenomenon” when i had my first job. I had an office mate who always complained about anything. It may be just so we could talk about something or maybe just so she can say what she’s feeling. But as i listened to how she complained, i felt bad. Not because it happened to her or anything but because of the things she’s saying. It wasn’t a good feeling to hear about her gripes and complaints every day.

After that i don’t know if i had been influenced by her but i have never thought of myself as a complainer. But of course we all complain, i know that, but i can say i’m not a chronic complainer. Until i got to work in my third job. Suddenly i was complaining left and right about how our boss told us what to do and whatever. Suddenly my superior was also complaining left and right, maybe because i have influenced her too. There was always a complaint coming out of my mouth. And then when i hear the news i always complain about what’s happening (which is why i don’t watch the news anymore.) It only disappoints me everyday. Perhaps because i was also discontented with my life that i complained a lot while i was in that company.

And then everybody started complaining about how Pres. Gloria is leading our country. All i could think of was,

“Why are they complaining when they can’t even know how it is to be a leader with so many different and traditional people under you? Why don’t they just help the President and our country to move forward and improve instead of continuously bickering and fighting and complaining about how things are done?”

But then again, i realize now that that statement in itself is a complaint. And so i have stopped thinking that way and am now starting to remove complaints from my mouth. I want to begin with not saying any complaints anymore. I am consciously trying to figure out if what i am going to say is a complaint or not. If it causes me grief, pain or dissatisfaction then it must be a complaint. (On this note, death of a loved one, even if it’s a pet, is the most extreme of them all and it is of course acceptable if you complain about it. But as the book ‘A Complaint Free World’ said, “What are you going to do about it?”)

Now you might say that because i’ve read something from a book, i’m now talking about it etc etc. No. I’ve known that first time, when i realized my former officemate was a chronic complainer, that complaining is not good. The book only reinforced and further educated me on why it is so and that indeed i was right about what i was saying – that we should be doing something good for personal or impersonal improvement instead of complaining and backstabbing people. That’s why i think i will accept the book’s challenge of being complaint free in 21 days. Yes it will be hard i know but i will do it so help me God.

I have not yet started my 21-day challenge of not ever uttering a single complaint but i will start it soon after i finish reading the book. (You can buy the book at any BOOK SALE outlet i think. No i am not promoting Book Sale in any way. I am only stating that you can buy the book there if you are interested in joining me in becoming complaint free for life.)

You don’t need to buy the book if you don’t want to. The fact that you realize you complain too much is good enough. We should all start with ourselves rather than point at your friends and say, “Oh so and so complains a lot so they should stop it and take the challenge too.” Everyone of us complains. We see it everywhere and most people do not realize that it is spreading fast without anyone noticing it.

So i say, let us all strive to get rid of the habit of complaining and push through with it until we get rid of this bad habit. Complaining may seem helpful to us but actually it is draining us of positivism and happiness. Our country needs to be happier and more aware of how complaints will not do anything but increase anxiety and anger. This leads to more arguments and more blaming and pointing at whose fault it is and a lot of negative things where we are left with no room for improvement at all. If we become united and help each other instead of complaining and bickering on whatever anyone says we will not improve and become a better country.

I call on every Filipino to start doing something good to ourselves and each other rather than complaining how badly our country is sinking.

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