Stop Complaining: Start Fixing

Like many females in my age group, and even some males, I read “Cosmopolitan” magazine.  Cosmo recently added a section to their magazine called “Bitch It Out,” where readers write in to complain about things in their lives or in their worlds that they don’t like.  They complain about roommates, boyfriends, cashiers and other drivers.  What I don’t understand is that if they decided to change something instead of complaining about it, they could probably save a little bit of time and the cost of a stamp.

I’m proposing that instead of complaining about problems in the world and pointing fingers at our lovers, coworkers or roommates, we look at the people in the world who do good, and thank them.  I know that this sounds like I corny idea, but consider how often you do a good deed and it is overlooked, and compare that to how often you do something wrong and you get in trouble for it.

I have to point out that there is a door holding epidemic going on here on campus.  Whenever I head into the Union, someone is holding a door for me or for someone else, regardless of age, gender or how full their hands are.  I thoroughly enjoy watching people help one another even though no one has anything to gain from it.

Speaking of the Union, there are a few cashiers there who might be the nicest, kindest human beings I’ve ever met.  Think about it.  They spend their entire day dealing with college students, who may or may not be rude and pushy, and these people still remain entirely pleasant.

The cleaning crew in the dorms, or at least my dorm, also are incredibly cheerful, considering the nature of their job.  They will talk to students and wait for students to finish in the restrooms, and even change their schedule so that they disrupt less students.  I think they deserve to be recognized for dealing with some of the dirtiest places on campus and still being pleasant.

I frequent Starbucks, and I have never met anyone working there who was less than helpful and pleasant, even if I go in when they’re closing.  One barista even helped me pick what I wanted (not too sweet, very strong and inexpensive) and custom made my drink.  I know that is part of the job, but I still feel like people deserve to be commended for a job well done.

People are fundamentally good and helpful if you know where to look.  I work at CVS, and there are plenty of nameless good people I see on a daily basis at my job.  There is the kid who wants to buy a candy bar, but he only has 29 cents.  Instead of everyone in line behind him grumbling about the holdup, the people always dig through pockets and purses to buy the candy for the kid, regardless of whether or not they know him.  I have seen people give up their shopping cart to someone else, even though they both might need it.  I have seen the pharmacist stay late, after the store should be closed, to fill a prescription for someone who left the ER, even though he has every right to leave.

People are always looking to help others.  Volunteers are many of those people, and I couldn’t even begin to name all the volunteers I have witnessed making the world a kinder place.  Wouldn’t you like to be recognized for doing something right, or for doing something to help people?

Maybe it has come to the point where we are simply expected to be good and do good, and get no extra recognition for it, but I think that even if this is the case, it is an easy problem to remedy.  In order to get a person to repeat a behavior, you should generally reward them for the behavior.  As a reward, perhaps you could thank someone.  Instead of complaining about problems, or writing to a magazine to let them know how you hate your roommate, you could tell your roommate what they are doing that bothers you and try to reach a compromise.  Try thanking people for being kind and compromising when you don’t get along.   Appreciate those who do good instead of only noticing those who don’t.

Tali Zangari is the Assistant Opinion Editor for The Voice. She is a sophomore English and Secondary Education major.

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