As I ponder Step 66, “I will stop complaining about the world,” of Steps to Knowledge, I recall a cartoon showing the Israelites crossing the Red Sea, as described in chapter 14 of the book of Exodus. One Israelite is saying to another, “Well, it’s a little damp underfoot…”
Some Questions About Complaining
Is a complaint a judgment on “external speaker?”
Is a complaint a dead giveaway of the presence of idealism, the mother of judgment? Is a complaint a dead giveaway of the absence of Knowledge?
Is a complaint a demand that someone conform to my expectation, with a promise to withhold my happiness and participation if it goes unmet? Is a complaint a thinly veiled hostage situation, where I am both the hostage and the hostage-taker?
Do you hear people who are flourishing in any area of human endeavor complain about the challenges they face? Do you hear NBA basketball player LeBron James or La Liga forward Diego Costa complain about the people who try to keep them from scoring?
Does my complaining make me a better person? Do I have a moral duty to complain as little as possible?
Is my complaining an attempt to enroll you in my judgments and ideals? Will you stop me before I complain again?
Does my complaining make the world a better place?
If I have a mission in my life to fulfill (and Step 33 of Steps to Knowledge says I do), then does my complaining help the fulfillment of that mission?
If I have come to work in the world (and Step 65 of Steps to Knowledge says I have), then does my complaining further that work?
Why are complaints considered less profane than certain other utterances?
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