In favor of those who just complain and take no action

Photo Credits: Willem Siers


So you feel angry at the state of things around you. You believe society needs to change.

The system is broken, things just are not as they should be. There is mismanagement, there is corruption, there is apathy and ignorance. It so frustrates you…

Your friends don’t like any of it either. You all get together often, at lunch breaks in office, on weekends, sipping your coffee, lamenting the bad state of things. You shake your head with smugness at the stupidity of the common man, you deplore the corrupt and selfish practices of the bureaucracy and the government, maintaining a seat of saintliness for yourself. It seems the whole forsaken existence is causing you and your poor lot of coffee drinking, head shaking friends, intolerable suffering.

It is not your duty to act. Just complain!

It must be so tiring to discuss the problem in detail, day in and day out. And, of course, you have to keep repeating the discussions, since somehow, in spite of your best efforts to solve the problem from your living room, it continues! It must be so demanding, yet you continue, discussing it again and again, relentlessly. The world is so indebted to you. The big, heavy responsibility of intellectualizing and philosophizing has fallen on your delicate shoulders.

You don’t make any effort to change things for the better. That is not your job. To change things, to take action, is for others, less intellectual beings. Their is already enough burden on you, finding faults with the system and the politicians, and the bureaucrats, and the common man… suggesting what changes all these people should embrace. Where is the time to make change? You have a life and family to look after, a job to do. You are finding the problems, let someone else find the solutions and work on them. It is not for your clean, pious, intellectual hands to get dirty with changing things!!

Why even try!!?

And is it wise to try make things better? It takers a lot of effort to improve things yourself. Why take on all the hardships? Why not put up with the problems until some one else comes and fixes things? It is easier to bear with it, to let your psyche, confidence and self respect break down bit by bit, until you stoop so low, you forget you ever had a spine. Probably God is to blame. Why can’t he send more Gandhis into the world to bring about change?

Blaming others takes just seconds, it is so much easier! Just wash your hands off and try to act happy until the problem hits you again. When it does, you will again find someone to blame it on. If you feel frustrated with this cotinuous cycle, you just say – “Nothing good can be done to this system. It is rotten and a gone case.” And with that you go back to your work, and to finding yet more faults with the system.

People ask, Are you certain that bringing about change is going to be as difficult as you imagine? Isn’t it just looking big in the beginning, like most other good things do? Of course you are sure! How can someone enjoy bringing about the change one feels for. How can you enjoy doing something your whole being connects with?… that happens only in stories.

Real pleasure is in staying safe, acting morally superior to the problem and people, pointing out faults and holding others responsible… it is in putting up with the slow death of your spirit, as you accept that the change you crave is beyond your powers… it is in continuously affirming to yourself that you are weak… it is in stooping just a little more every time.

Friends are always better for discussions

Another important point – There is no point in trying to find the right folks to raise your points with. Why find people who can actually do something with your ideas? You are already getting your ideas affirmed by your friends in your own drawing room! Why take the pain of going to a serious forum where everybody might not agree with you?

It is not fear that runs you

Of course it is not your fear that keeps you in this state of inaction. It is not like, through years of telling yourself that the problem is too big, you have lost faith in your own powers. You have achieved a lot! You have created a comfortable shell of a life around yourself. You have managed to secure your food, water and shelter. You have all the comforts!

Some might ask what difference is there in you and another animal? Are not human faculties meant for higher pursuits than just survival? You laugh and quickly answer – “Can animals point out faults like I do!?”

You are an example to follow

Yours is a perfect life. You are free!

You have to save your jobs at all costs. If your boss abuses you or puts you in projects you don’t enjoy, it is a small prize to pay for the comfort of your secure shell. If you feel bored to death doing things you don’t enjoy, if you feel listless at times, it is a normal part of a ‘dream life’.

The adventure of creating the change you want breeds uncertainty. Why go after it? Adventure is bad for fun. Why take up a problem you feel for but don’t know the whole solution to? Why not stick with something you know fully? Do it again and again. You can still enjoy the weekends, provided your boss doesn’t call you to office.


The change you want will probably happen over time. I just hope you don’t get so used to the current state that, when it happens, you are among the first ones to resist it.

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