On bitching and moaning and other stupidities

Yesterday while working on a complex editing/linguistic/translation issue with Irene, a Chinese friend of mine, I was growling with frustration. She looked at me sharply and said: “Why don’t you do it with a smile, sine you have to do it anyway and since it’s not such a big deal”. The remark instantaneously stopped my exasperation. She was so right.

In most cases within a normal contemporary lifestyle, privileges of any given situation vastly outnumber any possible discomforts and upsets. Yet not many of us “count our blessings”. What is it within ourselves that gravitates toward the negative, that seeks holes within the whole, that tends to get high on problems rather than to celebrate that which is and works?

I recall that Catherine Firpo in her Beijing 2010 ISUD conference presentation looked at the issue from a broader cultural perspective, pondering the fact that in most cultures dominating myths, like the end of the world, are apocalyptic, dark and negative. (Soon on youtube I will start posting selected Beijing interviews/panel scenes including the Firpo remarks.)

Back to my Chinese friend: later I shared with her my recent mistake of taking an antibiotic. Her response was fast: “you are just too impatient, if you took natural remedies it would had taken longer but would be much better for you.” Of course she was right again. Why are we so ridiculously rushing at our own expense even when we know that what we are doing is wrong, dumb and dangerous? Saying that we behave this way because of self destruction is just renaming the question.

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