By Omar Bihmidine
By Omar Bihmidine
Morocco World News
Sidi Ifni, Dec 30, 2012
Imagine getting on a bus bound for a far-away destination and finding someone taking your seat. Are you not going to complain about your ticket number? Imagine buying a brand-new laptop, but as soon as you switch it on, you discover that it breaks down several times in a row.
Are you not going to complain about the shoddy quality? Imagine being overworked and underpaid by your master for no other reasons than that you have no other source of living at hand.
Are you not going to complain about the ill-treatment and rise up even if it might be to the detriment of your livelihood? Regardless of the different stances on complaining, we must admit that complaining is by nature a human act that serves us in some way or another.
Unfortunately, we are among the nations that do condemn complaining. Some of our parents and teachers have taught us that complaining is of no use. At many points in our lives, we have been prevented from uttering our complaints, and those who complain are looked upon as weak and psychologically sensitive.
However, in fact, we forget about the miracles complaining can work. For instance, is not a trouble shared a trouble halved? Undoubtedly, yes. If we all set out to complain, we will disturb and mobilize our tyrants. If we set out to complain, we will annoy those in power with our screaming. Whether we like it or not, we should learn to complain, for in complaining, we come to do away with the distress inside us.
Jean Paul Sartre once wrote that one of the principal roles of intellectuals is causing much disturbance to the authorities. Here, complaining, among other things, is a way of doing so.
If the down-trodden masses of any wronged nation set out to complain to the authorities, they will at the very least know what they need, what they miss in their lives, what they want and what they wish. Not complaining is a sign of lethargy and death.
Paulo Coelho once wrote that children can teach adults three things in life. Among these things is that children insist on getting what they want by crying and complaining non-stop. Strangely, they do not stop screaming, a childish act of complaining, until they get what they wish. Even though considered as a bad habit by some people, complaining does more good than harm.
In all frankness, suffice to say that complaints have never been uttered without a reason. Among the differences between those who complain and those who do not is that the former are born with ’embers’ of revolt, while the latter are born inactive, lethargic, and most importantly non-reactive. Many people do not regrettably know the power of complaining.
Tyrannical leaders who are acutely aware of it have always done their utmost to silence the complaining people, to turn a deaf ear to the uttered complaints, and to confiscate their right of complaining. If we happen to ask those in power about people who complain, we will learn that they are the most feared in the Moroccan society.
Some people may intervene and say that the act of complaining usually comes to no fruition and that it is a waste of time. In response, some people must bear in their minds that complaining is the first step of procuring one’s rights. Without complaining, Mohamed Bouaziz would not have set himself alight. Bouazizi burned himself after uttering a number of complaints to the authorities about his misery. He complained many times, but no one lent his ears.
Whether we admit or not, it is thanks to Bouazizi that the Arab world is slowly but surely heading for Democracy. You may also think of the increased number of complaints uttered in the Moroccan parliament in the presence of the head of the government and education minister.
It is the complaints that push officials to act in a rush and, therefore, and take the necessary precautions for fear of losing face before the members of the parliament.
No doubt, there are many people who cannot stand hearing others’ complaints. Yet, we must all remember that everyone on earth will sooner or later take his or her turn in complaining.
I believe this is why we should both sympathize and empathize with one another during hard times, especially since complaints are rarely fake. “I like agony, for no one shams it,” American poet Emily Dickinson once wrote in one of her poems. Complaining is real. Hence, we must live with it. Personally, I enjoy complaining since I do not sham it.
“The wounded deer leaps the highest,” goes one of Emily Dickinson’s poems. In this respect, people who complain leap the highest, for they do not restrain their distress inside. On the other hand, people who do not complain give others the impressions that everything has been going as planned, whereas deep inside, they are downcast with a restrained outcry.