If You Don’t X, Don’t Complain

If you don’t take the time to read books written by people who struggled with the same problems as you, you can’t complain.

If you don’t take the time to learn financial literacy, you can’t complain.

If you don’t actively seek out the company of people who are smarter than you and more successful than you in order to glean from their wisdom, you can’t complain.

If you’re not listening to podcasts and checking out blogs that can help you improve your life, you can’t complain.

If you eat fast food all the time and won’t make healthy changes in your diet, you can’t complain.

If you watch TV all the time and are unhappy with where you are in life, you can’t complain.

If you don’t work out or exercise, you can’t complain.

If you don’t exercise great work ethic, you can’t complain.

If you don’t take the time to cultivate healthy and intimate relationships, you can’t complain.

If you don’t spend your free time learning new skills and planning for your future, you can’t complain.

Those above statements probably sound a little harsh, right? You’d probably consider someone to be a little rude or insensitive if you heard them say these sorts of things to another human being, right? But how are these statements any different from all the times when people say “If you don’t vote, you can’t complain”?

Isn’t it interesting how we place so much responsibility on people to vote, but we do just the opposite when it comes to other things they can do to improve their lives?

Is it because we’re too afraid to be pushy? Is it because we’re too afraid to proselytize? After observing the way people have been carrying on this past election cycle, I’m quite confident that most people are not too shy about imposing their beliefs and standards on others.

I wonder what our world would look like if we adopted that attitude about self-improvement and good works as a whole.

For the past two years, I’ve listened to tons of people loudly and confidently preaching their views on everyone’s so-called obligation to vote.

Now that the preaching has died down a little, I’d like to add my own version of the “If you don’t X, you can’t complain” idea.

Ready? Here it is:

If you’re not willing to think about power as something that can be developed and displayed outside of politics, then you can’t complain when you find yourself feeling powerless.

After all, if you don’t have the power to reshape and redefine your concept of power, then you don’t really have power at all.