I was in a shop this morning and a man at the counter was making a joke….. “just as well everyone complains, or else I would stand out”. Not a very funny joke actually, but he did have a point.
Why is it that as a society we have become almost addicted to complaining. Have a listen to daily communications, whether in person or social media, and such a large percentage of it is centred around finding fault. It’s becoming a sport.
Think about it. When engaged in conversation, when someone tells you a tale of woe… what is your first reaction? 9 times out of 10, it is to retaliate with another, even worse tail of woe. “you think that’s bad…you should hear what happened to me”, sort of thing.
And you may try to convince yourself that your motivations for such a practise is merely empathy, or showing that you understand… but I’ll bet if you are completely honest with yourself, you will find that there is actually some sort of perverse pleasure derived from coming up with a bigger and better disaster story.
And then there is people watching!
Who amongst you has spent time in a mall, commenting (almost always negatively) about their fellow shoppers. I know that I have. I’m not proud of it… but it happens. Pointing out all that we see is “wrong” with others, somehow makes us feel a little better about ourselves…. or does it.
To be honest, the brief rush of superiority that I get from putting another individual down, is pretty short lived compared with the knowledge that I am not doing myself, or anyone else any favours by participating in such behaviour. I know that this is not the person I aspire to be. And whilst it gets me a temporary cheap laugh.. I know that on a spiritual level it is a very damaging practise to indulge in.
So next time you feel like taking a cheap shot…. or one-upping someone with a bigger and better lamentation, take a moment and consider taking a higher road. I know that is going to be my intention.