“The unblemished saints do not complain about evil, but increase righteousness; do not complain about heresy, but increase faith; do not complain about ignorance, but increase wisdom.” R. Avraham HaKohen Kook, Z”L
A couple of weeks ago I read this quote. I was taken by it, have been thinking about it, and I’m still wondering about this, especially in the light of my own experiences. Not that I wonder what he means by this statement, that is actually rather clear and obvious, but more about why it is so hard for us to get such an obvious truth. Complaining is the easy way out, the stagnation, the trap stopping us from growth and advance. Instead we should be doing. When the world act in a immoral way, we should be fixing this, not by complaining, but by “increasing righteousness and wisdom.”
My new (or somehow new) job helps me working with myself on this matter. Meeting people, who don’t always give you an easy time, learns you patience (or what it means not to have it). Having people who are acting to you in a way, that really upsets you, is never nice. Our ego, our selves, wants to react, tell them to change their ways. But we have to realize that this is our ego speaking, not us. Or, our ego is part of us, surely, but not the only part, and sometimes we have to realize that people’s behavior is not connected to us. That we shouldn’t let other people’s bad behavior be the cause to also behave in a bad way. Instead we should take it as a warning about what other people might think about us, if we behaved wrong and in an unpleasant way.
But what to do then? Well, maybe trying to insisting on being positive, even when other people are negative. To smile, even when people are not. It has worked for me so far, at least in general, and people who I actually started out being annoyed with, ended up smiling and wishing me a wonderful day. Of course, this doesn’t go for all, everybody can have a serious bad day, but in general, what most people lack is a smile and nice attitude from someone else. Maybe they to have only experienced bad attitudes the whole day. Instead of being the one complaining, be the one changing.