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Column: What the world needs now is more complainers

My eyes roll and I yell after each car I come into contact with doesn’t signal their turn into traffic.

My eyes squint with distaste as my shopping cart disproportionately wobbles.

I breathe in a long sigh of displeasure when I can’t find the TV remote anywhere.

The world needs more complaining, more complaining like and unlike the thoughts I just shared. Recently someone in my life referred to someone else’s complaint as a “first-world problem.” But I don’t think there’s such a thing as a “first-world problem.”

Complaining leads us to a better life; it means we think the world could be better than it is, even in a tiny way that might come off as superficial to others.

Without complaining, we wouldn’t have achieved the amendment that officially abolished slavery in the U.S., the right to vote in the U.S., the protection of freedom of speech, religion, assembly, the press and the right to petition, the legalization of same-sex marriage. Without complaining, we wouldn’t have the United States of America.

I don’t care if my friend is complaining about the gum on the bottom of his shoe or if Joe across the street is complaining about the grocery store being out of his favorite food. I want them to scream louder and to share that complaint with everyone in their life.

One day someone else who cares about that food just as much as Joe will hear that complaint and agree. And they’ll get together and make sure the grocery store is never out of that food again. That complaint will flourish into a cause worth backing, gain traction and change the world for the better.

Because guess what, world? There’s still a heck of a lot here that isn’t okay, a whole of a heck lot that most of us aren’t okay with. I don’t want us to be okay with the gender pay gap, the number of homeless people in the world, the income gap between the rich and poor, global warming, the existence of cancer, discrimination and prejudice and how those two things still affect so many people — the list goes on and on.

And if you’re OK with those things — something is wrong with you.

I never understood those people who say we should all just be grateful with the life we have. I never understood those who think we should walk with our heads down against the pavement letting others control us and tell us we shouldn’t complain.

I, along with the rest of those annoying complainers, will continue to sigh, whine and cry until the world is a better place because we’re done with the status quo and the box people try to corner us into.

Ali Braboy can be reached at (815) 220-6931 and countyreporter@newstrib.com. Follow her on Twitter @NT_LaSalle.

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