Complain more quietly

british-flag     jahorina-zastava-srpska

If you are currently reading this, it means, first of all, that you have finished some schools, that you can read and that you can use modern technology. Also, that means that you have a roof over your head and a bed to sleep in. If you are reading this, it means that you have a computer or a smartphone. Or both. You also have access to the Internet, a paid bill and most likely a bit of extra money left after you pay all the expenses so that you can afford this little luxury. If you are reading this, it means you have time. Free time. At least a little. And that is a big luxury today. All these things put you in the group of only a few million people out of 7 billion people living on this planet at present, and on the local level that puts you in the group of only a few hundred thousand living souls among 7 million Serbs living in Serbia.

Happy souls.

Complaining is popular. Mastering the skill of complaining comes in handy, because when you start up a conversation with someone and, from a low starting position, grab the person by the throat by launching complaints, it immediately becomes clear you need help. If you, by any chance, say you are ok, you may, God forbid, be asked for help. So you set your frequencies to the complaint mode and you are at peace. Today it is not ok to be ok. Strategically, it is a very bad tactic. Complaining about whatever or whoever may prove to bring many rewards. If you are ok, they look at you as if you were a lunatic who’s stopped taking their medication or a pure-blooded prey to those after the little remaining blood and energy in you.

That is how we have reached the moment when we complain both for a reason and for no reason at all, and we do not rejoice even when there are good reasons to do so. Instead of loving loudly we complain more loudly. Instead of laughing from the bottom of our heart, we complain that everything has reached rock bottom. A common platitude. Nothing new. It has been like this for generations. It is just that before people used to die of the plague, cholera and tuberculosis, and nowadays they suffer from managerial headaches, jet lags, deadlines, low salaries and high standards.

If you are healthy and all the people dear to your heart are healthy, you have no reason to complain whatsoever. Then you definitely belong to a privileged category. If, unfortunately, they are not healthy, do not complain even then, because complaining does not heal. Happiness does. Try. It is even easier when you realise it does not cost you anything because it is already in you. It heals from the inside, it heals from the outside, it even heals others. Waste your time on complaining when it gets too late. As long as there is hope, there is a reason for happiness.

There are people who are happier, and those who are less happy. There are those who have enjoyed a pampered life and those of you who haven’t, tough luck. And yet, all this is no reason for you to be unhappy because no device for measuring happiness in other people has been patented yet. That is why you should take better care of your own happiness, and as long as there are some happy people out there, you also have a reason to feel happier because happy people are good people. When there is less evil, there is less trouble for all of us.

Complain more quietly. And love more loudly. Not because there is no reason to complain, but because there are definitely good reasons for you to smile. Ok, there are problems, but if we pay them an undeserved honour by voicing them, they become more present. So, put them on silent, and tomorrow, when someone asks you “How are you?”, say “Great, and I wish the same to you.” Because you are great. Believe me, you are.

Translated from the Serbian by Svetlana Milivojević-Petrović