Op-Ed: Stop Complaining and Just Do it
Everyday, I get on social media and I find numerous individuals complaining about something. The streets are dirty, the homeless population is growing, the people in office aren’t doing enough for the citizens and the list goes on. But, out of all of these complaints, how many are actually doing something to change things up?
The answer is NOT many!
It’s frustrating and disheartening to know that so many people have so much to say but don’t contribute to the solution. We all can do something to make our communities better, yet most of us don’t.
This article is not meant to make anyone feel bad about themselves. It’s about inspiring and doing what Nike says, “Just do it.”
I spent so much time—and sometimes still do—complaining about things that I can personally change. For example, I noticed that my neighborhood, after the snow, had an unusual amount of litter. Then I realized I’ve spent so much time getting other people to clean up neighborhoods that were nowhere near mine. How could I possibly ask others to do things I wouldn’t even do for myself?
So, one day I went to clean up the litter on my block at 8 a.m.
As SZA was blasting through my Apple earphones, and as I was singing louder and louder, I was actually making a small difference in an area I reside in most of my days.
Something as small as realizing that I was doing for others what I wasn’t doing for myself, changed so much.
I’m a living a contradiction.
I talk about how I want to do so much for my community but sometimes I spend my time and money on other things. To make up for this, I try to do what I can for others, but I feel that’s never enough.
There are so many things on a daily that we could be doing to make our lives and others better but, instead we complain. Social media is an influencer of this mindset. We spend so much time looking at the “good” parts of other people’s lives that we began to downplay our own. Sometimes, I have to physically delete apps off my phone just to give myself a break from the online world. But I always come back.
Social media makes us believe that we should be someone else or should be living some other life because our own isn’t good enough. And because we think we don’t have it good enough, we start complaining—complaining about everything. The way we look, the way we talk, the way we think, the way we see our places in the world, and what we’re worth.
We forget that the change starts within you. But then you have to think, what’s the point of changing if you’re not going to use that change for good?
J. Cole said it the best: “What good is taking over, when we know what you gon' do/The only real revolution happens right inside of you.”
We all have to become accountable someday.
Accountability…that’s a concept I’m still trying to understand. It’s easy for me to point out the flaws in everyone, in everything they do, but I tend to ignore my own issues. For every negative thought I create, I try to at least think of two positive thoughts.
I was told by someone that we are not our thoughts and I finally understand what that means. I can control what I put out into this world and it all starts inside of me. Despite what others may think of me, as long as I’m okay with me, I’ll be just fine.
I’m not sure what you specifically should be doing, but I know we all can be doing a little bit more. Maybe smiling at a stranger or just asking how someone’s day is could really change up society.
Despite everything said in this article, there are thousands of individuals doing amazing things. And to those people, please keep going. There will always be the naysayers but that’s all they’ll ever be. We need more people like you.
No matter how many times you want to give up, don’t.