The First Steps Toward Affecting Social Change

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Criticism and complaining have become the social norm.

In contrast, non-criticism and not complaining is often times stigmatized as being “Pollyanna” or unrealistic. It’s seen as odd, ignorant and boring behavior.

In fact, refraining from critical comments and complaints is an almost sure-fire way to fail to fit into many, if not most, social circles.

Don’t believe me? Try it!

I triple dog dare you to go 72 hours without criticizing or complaining.

Oh, and that includes political criticism and complaints. Sure, we can all agree there is a lot going on that is completely disagreeable. Reflecting on what changes can be made, or what solutions can be gained, is an excellent past-time that does not need to include criticizing or complaining about the current lack of changes and solutions.

To prepare for the challenge, sit in a timeout and consider:

What part of you criticizes and complains?

When you are criticizing and/or complaining, do you feel expanded or diminished as a person?

Are you using criticism and complaining as a way to create a false sense of self-worth, because you are so much better than what you are criticizing or complaining about?

Have you become a victim of circumstances, unable to create effective alternatives/boundaries than what you are criticizing or complaining about?

You may not be able to figure all that out in one sitting. I know I can’t. However, you can begin to question yourself whenever you do start to criticize and complain and eventually, some of those answers may be discovered.

What do you do if you aren’t criticizing or complaining?

Here are three ideas:

  1. Become accepting even though other people, places, and things make other decisions than what you might approve of or prefer, you can accept their right to make them.
  2. Focus on what you can do to mind your own business and take care of yourself and those you love, despite whatever makes you want to criticize and complain.
  3. Have gratitude that you are alive to experience anything at all, even if it’s not quite what you are hoping for.

Are you strong enough for the challenge?

It may be a very small way to affect social change toward a happier, healthier mode of operating for yourself and those around you.

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