Róisín Ingle on complaining
Honestly, I’m a bit dubious about a completely Complaint Free World. It would far be too quiet for a start. Most of the talk-radio schedules are full of people basically complaining about stuff, from Morning Ireland to the Late Debate. If people didn’t complain poor Joe Duffy and Emily O’Reilly would be unemployed. The internet would be empty and there’d be no Irish Times letters page. If people stopped complaining the constituency clinics of our politicians would be empty and we would have nothing to say in elevators or at bus stops. I don’t think I’m the only one who uses a weather complaint along the lines of “Jaysus, would you look at that day” to break the ice during those sometimes uncomfortable seconds between the ground and fourth floor.
My main problem with a Complaint Free World is that without complaints how does anything change for the better? The Suffragettes wouldn’t have got very far in terms of securing the vote for women if they’d kept their mouths shut. And without complaints we wouldn’t have got Wispas back on the shelves. Case closed.
The Complaint Free World website has an answer for everything, though. Their trump card is Martin Luther King jnr. “He didn’t stand before thousands in Washington DC and shout, ‘Isn’t it awful how we’re being treated?’ No. He shared his dream of a day when all children of all races would play and live together in peace and harmony.” The complaint-free types suggest that to affect change we paint a vivid picture of the problem already solved and share this with as many people as we can.
By their logic, instead of complaining to my mother about a woman who has been annoying me for years I should visualize and verbalise a world where she realises she needs to apologise for certain things in order to fix the situation. I’m not saying the positive picture that I painted in my head was vivid, it was more of a wishy-washy watercolour, but shortly afterwards a certain rapprochement was reached between myself and this person and suddenly I had reason to celebrate rather than complain.
Maya Angelou also said: “Don’t whine. First it does nothing to the reason for your complaint. More importantly it lets a brute know that a victim is in the neighbourhood.”
Here’s to not being a victim and complaining less. To that end my mother says the bracelet is in the post.
In other news . . .one of Dublin’s lesser known gems The Hapenny Flea Market is worth checking out today for the vintage clothes, covetable jewellery and homemade treats. The Grand Social, Liffey Street, Dublin. From noon, tel: 01-874 0076