Easy For You to Say

Someone’s house is flooding; their basement and maybe even their first floor are underwater. Their possessions are being ruined, and their house itself might soon be totally destroyed. “I wish there was a little less water in my house,” that person might lament.

“Easy for you to say,” says someone in a desert, parched beyond belief. “Some of us don’t have any water at all!”

We can always do this, in any situation. We can complain that someone else’s complaint isn’t as bad as ours, or even that their complaint is the very reverse of ours. Someone complaining that they’re overworked could be scowled at by someone unemployed. Someone who can’t seem to gain weight can be sneered at by someone who can’t seem to lose it. The possibilities are endless.

And endlessly dumb.

It’s not just dumb because complaining, in general, is a foolish way to spend your energy. It’s also extra silly because there’s value right there to be generated, and you’re squandering the opportunity.

If you had two friends, and one said “I have too many hot dogs and not enough buns,” and the other said “I have too many buns and not enough hot dogs,” you’d probably figure out a solution pretty quickly. And sure, the problem of a flooded house and a drought don’t exactly cancel each other out, but there’s always an opportunity to combine efforts in some way – even just to talk, share resources and ideas, and look for overlaps.

Of course, that’s easy for me to say, right?

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