Stop me if you’ve heard this one…
The scene is a random, totally-not-made-up work environment. This completely legitimate company is called “Acme Anvil Distributors, Inc.” A co-worker (obviously not you or me) is moaning and complaining about a thing, a condition, a person, etc, at said anvil distributing facility. The conversation goes in phases, with phase one being the airing of a grievance (Festivus, anyone?)
“I really can’t stand the way everyone around here acts.”
You say, “I completely agree, valued and esteemed colleague.”
“Everyone around here has a bad attitude, and no one has a passion for anvils anymore.”
Again, you agree with your peer. Then the fatal statement occurs…
“They really need to do something about the attitudes here!”
“?” is your reaction.
“They really need to do something…”
That statement does two things. Number one, it absolves the you the speaker of all responsibility, and allows the righteous indignation to continue without guilt. After all, if it’s their responsibility, you can’t be held accountable for the problem, now can you?
Number two, it acknowledges the mastery of “them.“ If you’ve ever waited on the enigmatic them to solve any problem in your sphere of influence, you have automatically declared them to be your betters, your superiors. “They” are better than you because “they” can fix your problems, while you can only impotently complain. “They” are people of action who are looked upon by us lowly peons to get stuff done, while we can only sit back and wait for them to come to our rescue.
Let that sink in. While complaining about how little your boss does to help you, you’ve just said that he is better than you. While complaining about congress in that way, you’ve just confirmed that they are your masters.
If you’ve ever spoken that type of sentiment, just consider yourself to be an extra in a Superman comic, who waits around and complains when the Man of Steel doesn’t show up to fix your problems. A red shirt in Star Trek. A grasshopper around an ant. You’ve given up control and mastery of your own life, and willingly handed it over to someone you yourself deem to be more capable.
Or maybe you didn’t. Maybe you’re one of those brave few who is able to analyze a problem and find a way to deal with it. Maybe you’re the courageous soul capable of solving issues without adult supervision. Maybe, just maybe, you’re the person to whom people can turn in a crisis. Why? Because your abilities have made you one of them. The lesser humans can complain about how
-The government doesn’t do enough for them.
-Society has ruined their kids.
-The church has disenfranchised a demographic.
-Their boss is making it too hard to do their job.
What do the complainers do? Nothing. That’s their nature. Find a problem, whine about it until everyone knows how intelligent and smart they are, then move on to the next problem. There’s no solution suggested, and they never have an intention to do so. When a solution is actually proposed, the complainer will find reasons for it to be wrong, mostly to feel better about themselves and hear the sounds of their own voices. Complaining is like an Facebook argument or a game of golf. It’s a masturbatory exercise that makes you feel good for a brief period of time, but nothing is accomplished.
Let’s go back to our great Acme Anvil Distributors. Your co-worker is complaining about attitudes of everyone else at work, and chances are that he or she is part of the problem. Maybe you agree with him or her, but you decide to be a little bit more Alpha Wolf. You decide to act first by having a better attitude, then by encouraging good behavior. You’ve taken a first step in mastery of your problems, something that can snowball to the point where you’re one of “them.”
If you’re one of “them,” the people doing enough work that others can afford to complain about, you’re developing a master mentality over the betas who choose to be victims.
Be the doer. Be the master.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/137230105@N06/26092721414″>Even the weakest link is strong enough to keep you down</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/54976525@N08/25062241436″>Break the chains</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>(license)</a>